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Eurocopter X3 Reaches 180 Knots

Eurocopter X3 Reaches 180 Knots

Eurocopter's X3 hybrid helicopter has reached its first speed target of 180 knots…

Eurocopter’s X3 hybrid helicopter has reached its first speed target, slightly ahead of schedule, when it flew at 180 knots (207mph) for the first time during tests at the Istres Flight Test Center, in southern France, November 29th, 2010.

The company had originally planned to reach such speeds by the end of December 2010. The November flight puts them ahead of schedule as the program moves into the next phase; a period of inspection focusing on the life of parts, especially the gear box.

eurocopter x3 reaches 180 knots

Eurocopter X3 Reaches 180 Knots

During its recent tests, the X3 was able to fly for a sustained period at 12,500 ft, and ‘performed maneuvers up to 60 degrees angle of bank.’ [Ares Defense Blog]

Herve Jammayrac, the test pilot, says the helo is showing “handling and flight qualities that are exactly in line with our ground-based simulator evaluations.” [Ares Defense Blog]

After the inspection period is complete, the X3 will continue flight trials starting March.

By the end of 2011 Eurocopter will decide if the X3 is worth marketing, if the program goes ahead, the company has given themselves 6 years to produce and market the craft.



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Source:

  1. Robert Walls: X3 Gains Speed (with video). Ares Defense Blog, Aviation Week, 12/09/2010.
  2. Image Source: X3 flies in France. Key Aero, 09/27/2010.
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