Eurocopter X3 Set for Public Debut at Paris Air Show
The Eurocopter X3 (“X cube”) compound helicopter demonstrator is to appear for the first time in public next week at the Paris Air Show. Jean-Michel Billig, the company’s executive v-p for research and development, promised late last month that F-ZXXX will impress showgoers with its maneuverability, just like the military Tiger wowed them in the 1990s when it began performing loops. “At Le Bourget, you will see a flying display no other helicopter can offer,” he told AIN. “I am not only talking about high speeds.” During the second flight-test campaign, which started in May, the X3 demonstrated a rate of climb greater than 5,000 fpm. It made turns with 80 degrees of bank angle, and reached a top speed of 232 ktas on May 12. A modified AS365 Dauphin with a conventional main rotor, two propellers on stub wings and a conventional empennage, the X3 is targeted at demonstrating that 220 knots is an economical sweet spot operationally.