Helicopters are good for hauling cargo and rescuing mountaineers. But if you need to cover a long distance fast, you'd be better off taking a plane, as helicopters today struggle to top 180 m.p.h. (290 km/h). Sikorsky's X2 Technology helicopter aims to annihilate that speed barrier. Unlike ordinary choppers, which pair a single rotor on top with an antitorque tail rotor, the X2 has two main rotors spinning in opposite directions and an airplane-like propeller at the rear. This highly stable setup should allow the X2 to cruise at a zippy 290 m.p.h. (467 km/h) about the same speed as some small turboprop planes. Don't expect to see this real-life Airwolf hovering above your house anytime soon, however: the chopper will be tied up in tests for the next decade.
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