Piasecki X-49 SpeedHawk is an American military helicopter designed by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and technically optimized by Piasecki Aircraft specialists.
The development of the Piasecki X-49 SpeedHawk aircraft began by American engineers in the mid-90s, while the helicopter design was developed by Sikorsky Aircraft specialists even earlier, however, for some technical reasons, it was not brought to implementation and serial release. In 2003, the Piasecki Aircraft company introduced the first demonstration model of this aircraft, further improving it, and its first flight was carried out by the Piasecki X-49 SpeedHawk in 2007.
The initiator of the development of the Piasecki X-49 SpeedHawk helicopter was the US Navy, which allocated the appropriate financial resources and announced the expected characteristics of the aircraft. Initially, it was expected that the helicopter could become an effective military unit in the U.S. Navy, however, due to the extremely long helicopter being in the development stage, other requirements began to be made to it later.
The design of the Piasecki X-49 SpeedHawk helicopter is presented very unusually, in particular, instead of an additional stabilizing screw located in the rear of the aircraft, it uses a screw that creates a pushing force and, in essence, increases the flight speed of this aircraft.
Depending on the intended purpose, the helicopter model Piasecki X-49 SpeedHawk can take on board up to 8 people, including two pilots, two airborne shooters, as well as four military personnel. At the design stage of the helicopter, and its development continues to this day, it was assumed that the aircraft will be equipped with two large-caliber machine guns, as well as a set of unguided missiles, however, in addition to combat purposes, the helicopter could also be used for search and rescue operations.
The helicopter power plant consists of two General Electric T700-GE-701C gas turbine aircraft engines capable of accelerating an aircraft to 400 km / h. (real tests allowed to reach a speed of 360 km \ h.), which in turn makes this aircraft very speedy. The maximum flight range was determined at 880 kilometers, which also meets the objectives of the intended operation of the aircraft.
According to official data, the first technical tests of the improved design of the Piasecki X-49 SpeedHawk helicopter took place in 2017, while the estimated start date for the serial production of this model aircraft is indicated in 2020.
- Crew: 2 people (depending on the intended purpose);
- Capacity: 6 people (depending on the destination);
- Length: 17.5 m.;
- Height: 4.7 m.;
- The diameter of the rotor: 14.2 m.;
- Empty helicopter mass: 7400 kg.;
- Maximum take-off weight: 9600 kg .;
- Cruising speed: 320 km \ h.;
- Maximum flight speed: 400 km \ h.;
- Maximum flight range: 818 km .;
- Maximum flight height: 3800 m.;
- Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T700-GE-701C;
- Power: 2 × 1630 hp