Our Bureau
10:06 AM, June 13, 2013

Eurocopter announed today that it recently flight tested its X3 compound rotorcraft and successfully broke helicopter unoffcial speed records.

The French helicopter-maker says that the X3 on 7 June, attained 255kt (472km/h) conducted at around 10,000ft (3,050m) over Istres air base in southern France. And earlier, it hit 263kt during a descent.

Several modifications were made to the aircraft for the latest test campaign, including the addition of a drag-reducing rotor head fairing and landing gear fairings.

This flight trial is also being used to gather data on the performance of the five-blade rotors at high speed, the company said in a statement.

Additionally, it will assess the effectiveness of the fairing "which will be beneficial for drag optimisation across Eurocopter's overall product range", says flight test engineer Dominique Fournier.

The X3 demonstrator has accumulated more than 140h since making its maiden sortie in September 2010. This is its final flight-test campaign ahead of retirement following its attendance at the Paris air show, where it will go on the static display.

Eurocopter will now use the data gathered to influence helicopter design for the next decade.