Compound helicopters are a very interesting concept since the 1930`s. But unfortunately, compound helicopters have never seen wide scale production. But, it`s never over for them because they still try to find their place in the modern aviation. Plus, different industry players try to turn this concept into a reality not only in the military but also in the civil world. One of these industry players is the Piasecki Aircraft Corporation with their Piasecki X 49A Helicopter. Piasecki Aircraft Corporation is known for being a prime contractor for the United States Army.
The Piasecki X 49A Helicopter is their latest prototype, produced in 2007. This prototype can reach speed of up to 180 knots! Yeah you heard that right. It is super fast! Aesthetically, it may not be the most gorgeous looking helicopter in the world. But hey, when a soldier is down in some jungle or a dessert knee deep in problems the last thing that will come to his mind will be how aesthetically fine that helicopter is.
The Piasecki X 49A helicopter is based on the Sikorsky YSH-60F Seahawk. This helicopter is actually the marine version of the UH-60 Black Hawk series! In addition to this, it also represents a helicopter with four blades and two engines! This copter has a very interesting experimental concept which is to apply the VTDP technology to a military produced helicopter and to determine whether any benefit will be gained through increasing the performance. The Piasecki X 49A, although produced in 2007, continues active testing, research and development as of 2016.
It`s got a listed maximum speed of 167 miles per hour. However, it must be noted that while testing it surpassed the 207 mph measure! It has got a crew capacity of 3, but in its Seahawk cabin can be seated up to 8 passengers. Piasecki did an amazing job constructing this helicopter and it has definitely passed all of its phase 1 milestones. So, what do you think? Is this copter your cup of tea? Feel free to leave your comments!