Airbus has filed a patent for the world's fastest helicopter.
The hybrid aircraft is an advanced version of the Airbus' Eurocopter X3, which is currently under development and set an unofficial record in 2013 for the world's fastest helicopter, attaining a top speed of 263 knots — or about 303 miles per hour — in a descent.
That's still much slower than a commercial jet, but for a helicopter, it's greased lightning.
"Airbus' Eurocopter X3 is the fastest helicopter in the world," said Deepak Gupta of PatentYogi, which made the above video to demonstrate the patent's ideas.
Airbus' "compound helicopter" is capable of reaching high speeds due to its fixed airplane components.
IMAGE: UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
When pilots want to attain higher speeds, they bring the aircraft to a low pitch, essentially converting the helicopter into a plane. The wings and side propellers take over, providing forward thrust.
Another unique feature of the hybrid helicopter is its absence of a tail rotor. Traditionally, a tail rotor is necessary to keep a helicopter from spinning out of control, but in this design the anti-torque force is provided by the two side propellers.
Image : Airbus
As with all patents, it remains to be seen whether this mega-fast helicopter ever reaches mass production.
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