The Eurocopter X3 is in the U.S. as part of a month-long tour, in which will demonstrate its operational capabilities for civil and military use. First U.S flight took place on June 15 in Texas. Images credit: Eurocopter
The following video shows the X3’s first flight in the U.S.
The X3 demonstrator is based on a Eurocopter EC155 helicopter with the addition of short span wings each fitted with a tractor propeller. The tractor propellers are gear driven from the two main turboshaft engines which also drive the five-bladed main rotor. The helicopter is designed to prove the concept of a high-speed helicopter which depends on the slowing down of the rotor speed to avoid drag from the advancing blade tip, and to avoid retreating blade stall by unloading the rotor while a small wing is intended to provide up to 80% lift instead.
The X3 first flew on 6 September 2010 from French Délégation Générale de l’Armement facility at Istres-Le Tubé Air Base. On 12 May 2011 the X3 flew at a speed of 430 km/h (267 mph) for several minutes. Eurocopter intends to demonstrate the X3 in the USA in summer 2012. A product using X3 technology may come in 2020.
source Eurocopter X3