Top 10 Fastest Helicopters in 2022

Fastest Helicopters

Helicopters are the most efficient means of logistical support, war, deployment of troops, and supply delivery.

When it comes to the world’s most technologically advanced helicopters, speed is everything.

Whether it’s to improve emergency response times or combat effectiveness, helicopter manufacturers are constantly pushing the limits of speed to show off the capabilities of their latest and most significant aircraft.

Here is the list of the top-notch 10 fastest helicopters in the world.

1. Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

The V-22 is by far the fastest helicopter, despite the fact that it isn’t even a helicopter at all. The V-22 is a tiltrotor, which can change from an airplane to a helicopter in just 12 seconds.

The manufacturers designed the V-22 to hover, land, and take off like a helicopter. However, it will take off and land like a regular plane if necessary and fly like a helicopter in flight. 

The V-22 cruises at 565 km/h (as an aircraft) (351 mph, 305 knots). The V-22’s highest reported speed (as a helicopter) is 509 km/h (316 mph, 275 knots).

The United States military primarily uses the V-22. The Japanese Armed Forces have also put an order for the V-22.

Even though the V-22 crashes much more often than other aircraft, many USMC pilots genuinely want to fly it.

2. Sikorsky X2

Sikorsky X2

The Sikorsky X2 is the fastest helicopter on the earth if we’re talking about conventional helicopters, those with a design similar to the first helicopters.

The company that invented the first helicopter also makes the fastest! The helicopter first set an unofficial speed record in 2010 when a demonstrator model hit 287 mph, but it has since surpassed it in production.

The power of X2 has two rotors instead of one by a single pilot and is quieter than a conventional helicopter, with the ability to make sharper turns. 

The twin rotors and pusher propeller produce enough thrust to propel the plane above 10,000 feet at a speed of 299 miles per hour (481 kilometers per hour; 260 knots).

On conventional helicopters, a “retreating blade stall” results in a loss of lift on one of the rotors, limiting forward speed.

The X2 solved this issue by stacking coaxial rotors one on top of the other. 

3. CH-47F Chinook

US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter flyby

The CH-47F Chinook is the world’s fastest helicopter, with a top speed of 315 km/h. The Chinook is a multi-mission military helicopter manufactured by Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

It was first deployed by the U.S. Army’s operational unit in July 2007 to transport soldiers, artillery, supplies, and cargo in support of combat and humanitarian relief operations. 

The helicopter features an upgraded airframe and a high-capacity fuel system that allows it to fly twice as far as comparable military helicopters.

Its tandem rotor design will enable it to operate in inclement weather, at high altitudes, and in crosswinds. 

The CH-47F can fly at altitudes up to 20,000ft (6,096m) while carrying a load of 10,886kg thanks to two powerful Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines, each producing 4,777shp (3,529kW).

The helicopter’s fuel tank has a capacity of 3,194 liters, allowing for a mission range of 370.4 kilometers.

4. AW109 LUH

AW109 LUH

The AW109 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is one of the world’s fastest helicopters, with a top speed of 282 km/h.

The AW109 LUH’s multi-mission capabilities make it one of the most famous military helicopters in its class.

The South African and Malaysian militaries use this helicopter. It gets outfitted with advanced sensors, cutting-edge avionics, and redundant systems for maximum protection and survivability. 

Two Turbomeca Arrius 2K2 engines with full continuous power of 454kW (609shp) each ensure a climb rate of 8.33m/s to an altitude of 20,000ft.

The helicopter has a cruising speed of 283 km/h and a maximum of 311 km/h (VNE). With an ascent rate of 8.5 meters per second, it can attain an altitude of 6,096 meters.

The AW109LUH has a maximum range of 926 kilometers and can stay in the air for 4 hours and 46 minutes.

5. AH-64D Apache

AH-64D Apache

The AH-64 Apache is the U.S. Army’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter. The aircraft is also one of the world’s fastest helicopters.

It can reach a top speed of 284 kilometers per hour. The Apache AH-64D is a four-bladed, twin-turboshaft military helicopter with tailwheel landing gear and a two-person crew in a tandem cockpit.

It has a sensor suite mounted on the nose for target acquisition and night vision systems. 

It has a 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 chain gun mounted between the main landing gear and the forward fuselage and four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons for carrying armament.

The Apache can fly at 293 km/h (182 mph, 158 knots) if required but can cruise 265 km/h (165 mph, 143 knots).

The AH-64E Apache represents the backbone of the U.S. Army military helicopter force and the increasing number of foreign defense forces.

6. AgustaWestland AW609

AgustaWestland AW609

This is the world’s fastest helicopter. Due to its Bell lineage, the AW609 is a tiltrotor Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) civilian transport helicopter with some military underpinnings.

It possesses a maximum speed of 275 knots [316.2 mph or 509 kilometers per hour]. The AW609 was previously known as the Bell/Agusta BA609 and is designed for VVIP segments due to its appearance and speed. 

The model’s origins can be traced back to NASA trials in the 1980s, with the civilian prototype AW609 and the military version V-22 Osprey following.

The model will land and take off vertically, much like a helicopter, but faster than a rotorcraft. The AW609 can fly at 25,000 feet and into established icing conditions.

Thanks to an advanced synthetic vision system and a retractable, steerable landing light, the plane can fly at any time of day or night.

7. Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin

Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin

Eurocopter’s SA 365/AS365 Dauphin 2 (Dolphin) is a multipurpose medium-weight twin-engine helicopter that is also the world’s fastest.

The AS365 Dauphin is the civilian transport helicopter, having set a world record speed of 372 km/h over a 3-kilometer course in 1991.

The fact that it is quicker than the H160M, the fastest traditional military transport chopper, is intriguing. In addition, the Dauphin is only second to the tiltrotor versions in the world of helicopters.

The Dauphin’s fenestron tail rotor is one of its distinguishing features. The chopper has set numerous records since 1975, including the fastest run between London and Paris.

At 322 km/h, a prototype achieved this speed. The Dauphin has a military variant as well, which is used by just a few nations.

Though countries such as China have adapted the Dauphin to serve as an attack helicopter, Pawan Hans of India owns the most significant civilian Dauphin fleet. 

8. Airbus H160

Airbus H160

The H160M is the first of a new generation of fastest helicopters, and it is based on the EASA-certified H160.

It has a low operating cost and a high level of flight safety. The H160M gets equipped with the most up-to-date technological advances in French aeronautics.

The following helicopter on the list is the AS365 Dauphin’s successor. The Dauphin, after all, has been in existence since 1975.

The military version of the H160 gets designated as 160 M, and the military version of this type is the world’s fastest civilian helicopter.

Maximum speed is 175.5 knots [201.9 mph or 325 km/h], and Cruise Speed is155 knots [178.3 mph or 287 km/h].

The H160 is the first in the world to have electric landing gear and brake assembly, and it boasts the best in production. The H160M can also get connected to a secure digital support environment.

9. Airbus H155 [EC155]

Airbus H155

The H155, previously known as the EC155, then the Eurocopter, before eventually renamed the H155 by Airbus.

The H155 is a twin-engine fastest helicopter configured for various missions, including private and business aviation and law enforcement.

This five-ton helicopter is an improved version of the well-known Dauphin family of civilian helicopters

The top speed is 175 knots [201.2 mph or 324 km/h], and the Cruise Speed is162 knots [186.3 mph or 300 km/h].

Its Spheriflex main rotor head provides a smooth ride, even at high speeds, as well as superior handling and in-flight stability.

The H155 has a low sound signature and needs little maintenance, thanks to the Fenestron tail rotor shrouded.

The shrouded rotor concept provides more yaw control while also increasing safety during ground operations, especially in confined spaces.

Airframe components are made of highly corrosion-resistant composite materials and light alloys, which guarantee to meet mission requirements.

10. Boeing Vertol 234

Boeing Vertol 234

Boeing Vertol 234 is the civilian helicopter sibling of the well-known American Chinook helicopter. This is one of the fastest helicopters, with a military origin before transitioning to a civilian version.

The helicopter is capable of a top speed of 170 knots [195.7 mph or 315 km/h]. The Vertol gets set up to carry cargo, passengers, or both cargo and passengers.

It also has the capability of serving as a utility transport helicopter.  It does have a Chinook sticker on it, which indicates that it is one of the world’s heaviest lift helicopters.

Several doors are running the length of the fuselage, a wide loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage, and three external ventral cargo hooks to hold underslung loads.

This helicopter was much faster than modern utility and attack helicopters in the 1960s, and it is still one of the fastest helicopters in the U.S. inventory.

Bottom Line

From the first appearance in World War II to the present day, helicopters play an important role in the war, logistics, troop deployment, and rescue operations.

As helicopters exceed these high speeds, they encounter a phenomenon known as the flow separation limit, which affects twin-rotor designs more than single-rotor designs.

One explanation for this is that helicopter designs are becoming more complex, with many manufacturers opting for hybrid designs to reach more reliable higher speeds.

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Comments 3
  1. You name 3 helicopters as the fastest in the world. You don’t mention the record of 400.87 kph (249.10 mph) set by the Westland Lynx in 1986 with an FIA confirmed average speed over 15 kilometres. This beats all but the first two helicopters you mention, and the V22 Osprey only beats it if it’s flying as an aeroplane, not a helicopter.

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