Eurocopter Exhibits New X3 Helicopter in Washington
Eurocopter, a European aviation consortium, culminated its U.S. tour of the state-of-the-art X3 helicopter with flight demonstrations in Manassas, Va., on July 23 and at the Pentagon on July 26.
Eurocopter chose the U.S. to debut the aircraft in its first departure from French soil and plans to market the vehicle, whose name is pronounced “X cubed,” globally for both military and commercial use.
“We are extremely pleased to bring the X3 here to Washington,” said American Eurocopter President and CEO, Mark Paganini.
The Pentagon presentation wrapped up a month-long U.S. circuit that began at the Grand Prairie, Texas, at the headquarters of Eurocopter’s subsidiary, American Eurocopter, where the X3 made its stateside debut. The X3 continued on to Huntsville, Ala., Fayetteville, N.C., and Fort Belvoir, Va. Throughout the month, 40 guest pilots—20 military and 20 civilian—took advantage of the opportunity to fly the X3 and experience its maneuvering firsthand.
The vehicle features a pair of turboshaft engines that power a five-blade rotor system and an additional two propellers installed on short-span fixed wings. The helicopter reaches a maximum speed of 267 miles per hour, a climbing rate of 5,500 feet per minute, and vertical takeoff capability. These characteristics make the vehicle well-suited for long transit flights that require high speeds or a quick landing and departure.
Eurocopter anticipates a wide range of applications for its X3 technology, including long-distance search and rescue, border patrol missions, troop transport, and even urban shuttle services.
American Eurocopter provides over 900 U.S. jobs, primarily at its plants in Columbus, Miss., and Grand Prairie, Texas, in partnership with local industrial companies and vocational training institutions.