The pseudo-race to develop a high-speed helicopter just got a little more interesting. My colleague John Croft, attending the Heli-Expo in Long Beach, cajoled a confirming quote from Rolls-Royce about a secretive new Eurocopter concept called the X3. [Sikorsky already grabbed X2 for its high-speed prototype. Hmm -- Anybody know who got the X1?] The UK-based engine manufacturer confirmed the RTM322 will power the Eurocopter X3, although the airframer still declines to comment on the X3′s existence.
We know almost nothing more about the Eurcopter project. But, as John reported, Eurocopter has recently applied for a patent on a heavy-lift high-speed rotorcraft design, which is shown below.