Coming in 2019: Russia’s new helicopter gunship flying at 250 miles per hour

Russia expects to test fly a new high-speed helicopter gunship prototype in 2019. Compared to even the fastest conventional helicopters—which are physically limited to roughly 200 miles per hour due to the dissymmetry of lift—the new Russian design is expected to fly at speeds exceeding 400km/h or roughly 250 miles per hour.

“Next year, we will continue experimental design work,” Rostec chief executive officer Sergei Chemezov told the state-owned TASS news agency. “We have developed quite substantial potential. The first flight tests of the experimental helicopter may take place during 2019 or closer to its end.”

The new aircraft is under development at the Mil design bureau, which is part of Rostec’s Russian Helicopter Group. According to TASS, the Mil engineers have developed a “revolutionary” rotor design that allows the new helicopter to overcome the fundamental challenges of the dissymmetry of lift—particularly retreating blade stall.

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