Fastest Helicopters in the World: A Comprehensive Overview

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Helicopters have been one of the most reliable modes of transportation for years. People from all over the world rely on these flying machines to get from one point to another.

On top of that, helicopters are capable of vertical takeoff. That means they don’t need extended runways to fly. 

This makes them ideal for rescue missions after natural disasters. 

Although these aircrafts come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are sleek and speedy, while others are bulky and a little slow. 

So, if you’re looking for the fastest helicopters in the world, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll walk you through the models that reach the highest speeds. 

We’ll also cover what makes each helicopter special. 

Helicopter Speed Overview

Helicopters are incredibly useful aircrafts because of their size. Since they’re more compact than airplanes, they can travel through narrower pathways. 

This allows them to reach tight spots with dangerous terrain. That’s why we mainly use helicopters for rescue missions. 

For instance, a helicopter can fly a patient straight to a hospital to save their life. Other than that, the aircrafts can hover over forest fires to help put them out. 

As you can guess, these emergency services require fast action. So, helicopters need to have high flying speeds to get in and out of these tough spots as quickly as possible. 

Because of that, it should come as no surprise that velocity is one of the most crucial aspects of a helicopter. 

Fastest Helicopter Models

Now that you know why it’s important for a helicopter to be fast, we can take a look at a few models. In this section, we’ll cover some of the speediest aircrafts on the market. 

 1. Bell Boeing V22 Osprey

Specifications

  • Origin: United States
  • Height: 22.1 ft. (6.73 m)
  • Weight: 33,135 lb. (15,030 kg)
  • Rotor diameter: 38.1 ft. 
  • Speed: 351 mph (565 kph)
  • Range: 1.01 miles
  • Crew seats: Up to 25 troops
  • First flight: 19 March 1989
  • Role: Tiltrotor military transport aircraft

Features

We’re starting off our list with a bang. The Bell Boeing V22 Osprey is arguably the fastest helicopter on Earth. 

Its cruising speed is just over 310 miles per hour. Yet, the aircraft’s velocity tops out at 351 miles per hour. 

Although, that’s not the chopper’s most impressive feature. In fact, many people don’t consider it a helicopter at all. 

That’s because it’s a tiltrotor. This means the aircraft can convert between a plane and a helicopter. 

It can go through this transformation in a little under 12 seconds. 

2. Eurocopter X3

Specifications

  • Origin: Multinational
  • Height: N/A
  • Weight: 11,464 lb. (5,200 kg)
  • Rotor diameter: 41.3 ft. 
  • Speed: 293 mph (472 kph)
  • Range: 394.6 miles
  • Crew seats: 2
  • First flight: 6 September 2010
  • Role: Experimental compound helicopter

Features 

The Eurocopter X3 was an experimental aircraft, but it was exceptionally fast. Under the right conditions, this chopper could travel at 292 miles per hour. 

While this is significantly slower than the Bell Boeing, it’s still nothing to laugh at. 

On top of that, the X3 doesn’t rely on tail rotors like most helicopters. Instead, it has additional short-span wings on either side of the hull. 

Each one comes with a fitted tractor propeller. This allows the chopper to counteract the torque effect of the main engine. 

Today, you can see the aircraft in the French museum in the village of Saint-Victoret.

3. Sikorsky X2

Specifications

  • Origin: United States
  • Height: 7.83 ft. (2.4 m)
  • Weight: 5,300 lb. (2,404 kg)
  • Rotor diameter: 26.5 ft. 
  • Speed: 290 mph (460 kph)
  • Range: 35 miles
  • Crew seats: 2
  • First flight: 27 August 2008
  • Role: Experimental compound helicopter

Features

The X2 is one of the lesser-known speedy helicopters. That’s because Sikorsky only manufactured one of these aircrafts. 

Plus, the chopper retired back in 2011. This means it was only able to fly for a few years before it was grounded. 

The Sikorsky X2 was part of the U.S. military’s Future Vertical Lift program. So, the army built it to figure out the motion of an aircraft with horizontally spinning rotors. 

This gave us one of the fastest helicopters to date. 

4. Airbus H160

Specifications

  • Origin: Multinational
  • Height: 16 ft. (4.91 m)
  • Weight: 8,929 lb. (4,050 kg)
  • Rotor diameter: 43.96 ft. 
  • Speed: 218.7 mph (352 kph)
  • Range: 529.4 miles
  • Crew seats: 2 pilots and up to 12 passengers
  • First flight: 13 June 2015
  • Role: Medium utility helicopter

Features 

The next helicopter on our list is the Airbus H160. This chopper has a cruising speed of around 158 miles per hour and tops out at 218 miles per hour. 

Yet, the speed isn’t the only impressive feature of this helicopter. 

The H160 is also safe to fly and has low operating costs. Besides that, the aircraft makes use of many material technological advancements. 

So, it’s lighter with a more aerodynamic design than other choppers. Plus, the H160 has full deicing gear and a fly-by-wire control system

5. Mil Mi-24

Specifications

  • Origin: Soviet Union/Russia
  • Height: 21.3 ft. (6.5 m)
  • Weight: 18,518 lb. (8,400 kg)
  • Rotor diameter: 56.75 ft. 
  • Speed: 208 mph (335 kph)
  • Range: 280 miles
  • Crew seats: 2 to 5
  • First flight: 19 September 1969
  • Role: Attack helicopter with transport capabilities

Features 

People from all over the world call the Mil Mi-24 the flying tank for a couple of reasons. First up, the aircraft has two mounted turboshaft engines. 

This configuration allows the chopper to employ a double air intake action. That’s what makes the helicopter so fast in the air. 

Moving on, the Mi-24 can hold all sorts of weaponry and infantry. 

Finally, it comes with titanium rotor blades. These structures can resist 12.7 mm rounds without a scratch. 

So, not only does this aircraft attack, but it can also provide protection. 

6. Westland Lynx 

Specifications

  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Height: 12.25 ft. (3.7 m)
  • Weight: 7,225 lb. (3,277 kg)
  • Rotor diameter: 42 ft. 
  • Speed: 201 mph (324 kph)
  • Range: 328 miles
  • Crew seats: 2 to 3
  • First flight: 21 March 1971
  • Role: Multi-purpose military helicopter

Features 

Westland Helicopters designed the Lynx as a normal utility aircraft. That means it could carry out both civil and naval missions. 

Although, soon after its development, the military took an interest in the chopper. Since it was speedy and nimble, it would be extremely useful to the army. 

So, the company created different variants of the helicopter. After that, dozens of nations adopted the aircraft as a main part of their defense systems. 

This would go on until 2020 when the helicopter model was finally retired. During its many years of service, the Lynx was one of the fastest choppers in the air. 

It can reach a top speed of 201 miles per hour with ease. 

7. Boeing CH-47 Chinook

Specifications

  • Origin: United States
  • Height: 18.9 ft. (5.77 m)
  • Weight: 24,578 lb. (11,148 kg)
  • Rotor diameter: 2X60 ft.
  • Speed: 196 mph (315 kph)
  • Range: 460 miles
  • Crew seats: 3
  • First flight: 21 September 1961
  • Role: Transport helicopter

Features 

The Boeing Ch-47 may be the slowest aircraft on our list, but it’s still quite speedy. It has a cruising speed of around 184 miles per hour. 

This is while it’s carrying a heavy load. That’s because the Chinook is a transport helicopter. 

So, it spends most of its time hauling weighty cargo from one location to another. Yet, when it’s completely empty, this chopper can fly at 196 miles per hour. 

Wrapping Up

If you’re looking for the fastest helicopter in the world, there are countless great options. First up, the Bell Boeing V22 Osprey can reach a top velocity of 351 miles per hour. 

Plus, the Eurocopter and Sikorsky aircrafts fly at incredible speeds. Other than that, there’s the Airbus H160 and the Mil Mi-24.

Claire S. Allen
Claire S. Allen
Hi there! I'm Claire S. Allen, a vibrant Gemini who's as bold as my favorite color, red. I'm a fan of two cool things: strolling the streets in a red jacket and crafting articles that connect with readers. With my warm and friendly personality, Claire is sure to brighten up your day!
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