Eurocopter X3 Breaks Heli Speed Record In test near Marseille, France, Eurocopterâ€™s X3 has broken both the level flight and diving helicopter speed records set by Sikorskyâ€™s X2 back in 2010. On June 7 pilot HervÃ© Jammayrac pushed the X3 to an incredible 472 km/h (293 mph) beating Sikorskyâ€™s record by a full 12 km/h (7 Â½ mph). A few days earlier during the dive test the X3 just squeezed past the Sikorsky X2s dive record, reaching 487 km/h (303mph). The X3, which was built as a technology demonstrator, is powered by two modified Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 turboshaft engines. Both engines are used to power the craftâ€™s 5 bladed main rotor while also driving the X3s two tractor propellers. Key to the X3â€™s performance are its wing mounted tractor rotors which produce some 80% of the craftâ€™s lift. According to Dominique Fournier, Eurocopterâ€™s flight test engineer, â€œThese flights allow us to further explore the behavior of main rotors at high speeds, and enable us to make effectiveness assessments of the fairing we've added to the main rotor hub â€“ which will be beneficial for drag optimizationâ€. Although Eurocopter plans to retire the X3 by the end of the year, the craft has proven to be a valuable asset, delivering more data on â€œhigh speed rotary wing flight than was originally envisagedâ€. Given the advances made with the X3, Eurocopter sees a number of places that its high speed helicopter might be useful. Chief among these options are search and rescue, fast reacting medical transportation, and of course as an option for the US militaryâ€™s new attack helicopters. For now, the Eurocopter X3 is the worldâ€™s faster helicopter. Congratulations to our hard working engineers, besting the Americans in no small feat. :thumb: Now comes the X4 and the future belongs to France!