The Best 5 Helicopters In Terms Of Speed

Although helicopters are not exactly known for their speed, they can fly at really higher speeds than what most people think. If you’re flying a helicopter, you might be surprised by how fast it is going, especially if you compare it to driving a car or bike. In this article, we’ll bring the fastest helicopters ever made. We will use Knots in some places for speed measurement, so for your information, 1 Knot is equal to 1.852 Km/h You can use Knots to Km/h converter here. Let’s begin now.

1. SIKORSKY X2 – 299 MPH; 481 KM/H; 260 KNOTS

The Sikorsky X2 holds the world record for the fastest helicopter. Made by Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky X2 made the unofficial record in 2010 with the help of a demonstrator model which reached 287 mph but since production, it has achieved much faster speeds than this.

The Sikorsky X2 is a high-speed compound helicopter with double main rotors, (one rotor above the other as shown in the picture below also known as coaxial rotors) developed by Sikorsky Aircraft which is a child organization of Lockheed Martin.

Sikorsky Helicopters
Fig. 1 : Sikorsky X2 Mid Flight

2. EUROCOPTER X3 – 293 MPH; 473 KM/H; 255 KNOTS

The Eurocopter X3 reached a top speed somewhere around 293 mph (473 km/hr or 255 knots) in level flight on 7th June 2013 setting an unofficial speed record. It is not quite twice as fast as the current copters, but it is an impressive speed boost.

The Eurocopter X3 was developed by Airbus Helicopters in 2010. It has a very unique design as compared to other helicopters. Other helicopters use a tail rotor to counter-effect the torque produced by the main rotor but Eurocopter has a tractor propeller on each side. These tractor propellers are driven by the same turboshaft engines which run the main rotor.

Also, the main rotor of Eurocopter X3 has 5 blades, unlike other conventional helicopters which add to its uniqueness.

Fig. 2 : Eurocopter

3. WESTLAND LYNX – 249 MPH; 401 KM/H; 216 KNOTS

The Westland Lynx is a British military helicopter developed by Westland Helicopters. The Lynx is in service in many countries across the world and has been an integral part of the British Armed Forces for almost forty years.

The Westland Lynx was originally designed as a utility helicopter for civil usage but the military interests led to the development of military and naval variants. Westland Lynx was made in the early 1970s and around 1977, Westland Lynx was adopted by the armed forces of more than a dozen countries.

Lynx is an aerobatic helicopter and has the ability to perform rolls and loops. In 1986, a modified Lynx made the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale airspeed record (this category excludes compound helicopters) for helicopters (400.87 km/h or 249.09 mph) which is still an unbroken record as of 2021.

Westland Lynx helicopter
Fig. 3 : Westland Lynx


The Sikorsky UH-60 is a double-engine, utility helicopter and has four blades in the main rotor and tail rotor.

Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk was manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft in 1974. The powerful engine of Sikorsky UH-60 can carry up to 4100kg of cargo externally with the sling. It has been used in combats and warfare in the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

Apart from the US Army, Sikorsky UH-60 is also used by the Japanese Armed Forces, Colombian Armed Forces, and the Republic Of Korea Armed Forces.

The heavily modified Sikorsky UH-60 was also used in the raid of Osama Bin Laden.

Sikorsky UH-60  Black hawk helicopter
Fig. 4 : Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk

5. Boeing CH-47F CHINOOK – 196 MPH; 315 KM/H; 170 KNOTS

The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a heavy-lift helicopter, manufactured by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. The CH-47F Chinook can carry up to 10 tonnes of mixed (internal and external) cargo. As a result, the Boeing CH-47 Chinook has two powerful engines which make it the heaviest lifting helicopter of all time.

Chinook has a tandem rotor design, which means it has two main horizontal rotors which spin in opposite directions (one in clockwise and another one in anti-clockwise).

In a Tandem rotor design, there is no separate tail rotor as both of the main rotors also act as the tail rotor (i.e. when both the rotors are spinning one of the rotors acts as the main rotor, and the other one act as the tail rotor at the same time and vice versa).

Indian Armed Forces have also acquired Chinook helicopters to improve transportability in remote areas. Apart from the United States and India, the Japanese Armed Forces also use the Boeing CH-47F CHINOOK as a utility helicopter.

CH-47F Chinook
Fig 5 : Boeing CH-47F Chinook

These were the first five fastest helicopters ever made. For more updates and information, keep visiting Flying Mack and subscribe for instant notifications.

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