Sikorsky X2 Helicopter Sets World Speed Record
Sikorsky has just revolutionized the world of aviation with their amazing X2 prototype (above), officially the world's fastest helicopter after clocking over 250 knots (287.69 mph) on a test run, setting a new world speed record in the process. The X2, which uses a pair of coaxial rotor systems rather than the single rotor found on most choppers, easily beat the current world record of 216.46 knots (249.1 mph) set by the British-built Westland Lynx ZB-500 in 1986. The X2 is roughly twice as fast as Sikorsky's famed Blackhawk, and its tail rotor faces backward like the propeller on a boat in order to provide thrust. Even with its unusual design the X2, which features fly-by-wire controls, can maintain superlative low speed handling, efficient hovering, autorotation safety, and a seamless and simple transition to high speed. It will likely be several more years before the aircraft is ready to go into production at a cost of several million dollars however.