Sikorsky X2 Helicopter will be fastest ever made

by Mark R

Even if you have never heard of helicopters, you might know the name Sikorsky. They have been making helicopters like Boeing makes planes.

This is the Sikorsky X2, which is already the fastest helicopter in the world. In 1986, the rotorcraft speed record was 249 miles per hour, and the X2 has already surpassed it at 258 mph.

As you can tell from the picture, it has two rotating blades on the top, and I presume that they rotate in opposite directions for stability. I believe that the six-bladed prop on the back is also there for stability as well. I think it is interesting that the blade on the back faces away from the cockpit instead of to the side. I don’t think I’ve seen a helicopter designed like that before, but I’m not exactly a chopper expert.

When the X2 is completed, it should be cruising at 285 mph. The Apache attack chopper goes at a speed of 175, which makes this 110 mph faster.

So how long will it before these helicopters are mass-produced and fill up the sky? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t mind taking a nice 300 mph ride in one of them. I realize that is about 50 mph less than its projected top speed, but just wait. I’m sure their goal is 350 mph soon.


6 reviews or comments

JohnMc Says: August 3, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Well consider, if the main rotors are counter rotating, then there are no torque factors to overcome which is the reason for a side facing tail rotor. So the rotor on the aft end is for propulsion. Says: August 4, 2010 at 4:26 am

the twin rotors will be counter-rotating indeed. Its pretty much the same design as the russian company kamov have been using for their helicopters.

the rear rotor will have zero effect on the stability, but will help push it forward. i suspect this will help the speed issue as it allows the helicopter to divert all the main rotor power to maintaining altitude.

one issue that helicopters have is that when they reach a certain speed, the rotor going backwards ends up being basically stationary compared to the body. So to maintain flight, they have to stay below said speed or risk falling over to one side and crashing. The twin rotor helps avoid that as there will be a rotor on both sides advancing at all times.

ROTORGUY Says: November 7, 2010 at 7:52 pm

While this may be the fastest helicopter, there are sever speed limitations on the helicopter as you have to remember that the helicopter blade cannot pass through the speed of sound without disastrous consequences. For this you must look at both airspeed of the aircraft as well as speed of the blade that is moving in the direction of travel. This limitation will cause the helicopter to be limited in its speed to the point that there will eventually be a point that a helicopter cannot cross.

revjim Says: March 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm

The reason for contra-rotating blades.
Consider the ends of the blades as a normal chopper moves forward. As the blade sweeps forward it generates lift, as it sweeps backwards it produces less lift, and this is the reason you need a side facing prop on the back of a chopper.
Solution is to have 2 sets of blades rotating in opposite directions, then you get lift that’s balanced and no need for a side facing stabilizing prop.

Mid_Ben Says: April 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

The reason for counter-rotating blades is an anti-torque measure. Normally, the helicopter transmission is applying a torque to the main rotor, and physics says there’s an equal and opposite torque being applied to the transmission, which is solidly attached to the helicopter. The tail rotor is used to counteract that torque.

With a Tandem (CH-47 Chinook) or Coaxial (X2) helicopter, the two sets of counter-rotating blades cancel out those spinning forces on the helicopter. It is true that the lift distribution on the X2 is more even because of the counter-rotating blades though, which is one of the keys to allow it to fly so fast.

For the X2, that pusher prop on the back is what’s giving all that speed; It’s kind of funny how loud it is when it flies at full pusher speed, it sounds like a race car is passing you.

The plan for getting the X2 up to the 350mph is simple. They slow down the Main Rotors in steady level flight and have it locked in at a high enough collective pitch to maintain a steady altitude. This will theoretically keep the blades from breaking the sound barrier, so the helicopter won’t stall.

Write a review or comment

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Top Categories
Latest Posts
Subscribe to Newsletter