Melbourne, Sep 30 (ANI): European company Eurocopter has unveiled a new high-speed 'hover-plane' that combines helicopter propellers with fixed wings.
The revolutionary winged helicopter is called the X3 Hybrid Helicraft.
The half-plane, half-helicopter design aims to overcome the obstacles of high-speed helicopter flights by combining the advantages of fixed-wing planes with the hovering abilities of a standard helicopter.
Typically, the stability of the base of a helicopter's rotor is threatened when rotor tips approach supersonic speeds.
However Eurocopter hopes that placing two main rotors ontop of the cabin will neutralise the spinning force and aid speed.
The design also allows the aircraft the fly at sustained speeds of 400km/h, with the company also aiming to break the speed barrier.
Eurocopter envisages the X3 will have a range of uses including passenger transport and inter-city shuttle services.
"Flying it was amazing... I'm sure that we are opening a new page in the helicopter story," News.com.au quoted Daniel Semioli, Flight Test Engineer, as saying.
The X3 has been a closely guarded secret. Under development since January 2008, it was first flown on September 6 at a military test base in France.
Testing will continue, with flights resuming in March next year. (ANI)