Helicopters have proven to be versatile and powerful machines. Whether it comes to supply delivery, troop deployment, war, logistical support, or rescue operations, these air vehicles demonstrate their value. Of course, speed matters when you consider the most advanced helicopters across the world. With technological integrations, these machines are achieving fresh benchmarks in terms of speed.
The leading helicopter manufacturers are on the mission to further enhance their capabilities, whether it comes to leveraging their combat effectiveness or emergency response. This explains why they are prioritizing speed along with other aspects. Check out the fastest helicopters in different categories in this article.
Top 12 Fastest Helicopter To See In 2022
It’s time to explore the capabilities of some of the most advanced helicopters, along with their speed.
1. Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey leads the list when you think of speed. However, technically this is an airplane that takes just 12 seconds to convert itself to a helicopter. This might come in the category of a tiltrotor. The manufacturers have been strategic enough to design it in such a way that it can take off just like helicopters, land, and even hover. However, when it takes off, it would resemble a regular plane. During its flight, it would function as a helicopter.
As a helicopter, it has recorded the highest speed of 509 kmph. The V-22 is currently in use by the US military. Other countries that might be in the line of using this helicopter include Japan. The high frequency of this helicopter crashing prevents many military organizations from using it.
2. CH-47F Chinook
Well, if you consider a proper helicopter, the CH-47F Chinook tops the list in terms of speed. The highest speed that it has recorded to date is 315 kmph. It is a military-grade helicopter, capable of accomplishing multiple missions. The Chinook is an excellent piece of engineering from Boeing Defense, Space & Security. The operational unit of the US army first developed this multi-mission helicopter to transport artillery and soldiers in 2007. These helicopters have extensively participated in relief operations, combat, and support.
The upgraded airframe in the helicopter, along with a capable fuel system defines its success. No wonder, why these powerful machines can fly almost double of average military helicopters. The Chinook is capable of flying through adverse weather conditions, thanks to the tandem rotor design it has. Besides, it can navigate crosswinds safely and even reach high altitudes. This helicopter has already demonstrated its capabilities at a height of 20K feet, while it carried more than 10,000 Kgs. Of weight. The machine has two Honeywell engines that produce 4,777shp each.
The fuel tank of the Chinook can hold 3,194 liters, which enables it to accomplish long missions with a range of 370+ kilometers.
3. Sikorsky X2
Well, when you compare conventional helicopters, the Sikorsky X2 finds its name among the fastest of its class. The brand has a celebrated name for manufacturing the first helicopter. With technological advancements, they have also come up with the fastest in the conventional category. In 2010, this helicopter clocked a speed of 287 mph, thereby setting an unofficial record of its speed. There are two rotors in this helicopter rather than one, which defines its power. Compared to other helicopters, these machines are much quieter. Most importantly, the manufacturers have designed it to make sharp turns in the air.
The helicopter has got a powerful pusher propeller and twin rotors. Together, they generate adequate thrust, so that the helicopter can propel itself above 10K feet. At 481 Kmph, the speed of the helicopter looks pretty impressive. The retreating blade stall in conventional helicopters often leads to a lift loss in the rotors. This significantly reduces the speed of the helicopter to move forward. However, the X2 successfully resolved the issue as the manufacturers stacked the coaxial rotors innovatively, placing them one above the other.
4. AW109 LUH
The AW109 LUH finds its name among the world’s fastest helicopters. At 282 kmph, this lightweight helicopter delivers an impressive speed. Currently, the military in Malaysia and South Africa uses this helicopter for various missions. Due to its powerful capabilities, the AW109 LUH has emerged as one of the most celebrated machines of its class.
The AW109 LUH comes equipped with advanced sensors and sophisticated avionics. To ensure optimal survivability and protection, it comes with redundant systems. Each of the two Turbomeca Arrius 2K2 engines delivers 454kW power, enabling the helicopter to soar to the height of 20,000 feet at a rapid rate of 8.33 meters per second. The cruising speed of the AW109 LUH is 283 kmph, while it recorded a maximum speed of 311 kmph to date.
At 926 Kms., the helicopter has an impressive range. The manufacturer has designed the helicopter to remain in the air for more than 4.5 hours.
5. AgustaWestland AW609
At 316.2 mph, the AgustaWestland AW609 happens to be one of the most agile helicopters in the world. The manufacturers have integrated it with the Bell lineage for vertical takeoffs and landing. Although this is a civilian helicopter, it does come with some military integrations. While delivering its best performance, the AW609 can clock the 509 kmph speed. The brand had designed this helicopter, particularly for the VIP category. This defines its outstanding speed and appearance.
The NASA trials back in the 80s reveal the origin of this model. Next came the V-22 Osprey, which is the military version, and the AW609 became the civilian prototype. Compared to the average rotorcraft, the AW609 is much faster. This machine has demonstrated its tremendous capabilities, flying at a 25,000 feet height. Besides, it can be a perfect pick to fly through icing conditions.
The helicopter also comes with a sophisticated synthetic vision mechanism. The steering landing is retractable, enabling the helicopter to navigate its course regardless of the external conditions.
6. AH-64D Apache
Currently, the Apache happens to be the most advanced helicopter in the US Army for multi-role purposes. There are two turboshafts and four blades in the military helicopter. This defines why it can achieve an amazing speed of 284 kmph. It also has a tailwheel landing gear, and the tandem cockpit can accommodate two crew. Moreover, it comes integrated with a sensor suite. This enhances the night vision mechanisms and helps the helicopter acquire targets seamlessly.
There is a M230 chain gun (30 mm) between the forward fuselage and the primary landing gear. Besides, the military craft comes with four hardpoints to carry arms on the stub-wing pylons. While the helicopter can attain the maximum speed of 293 kmph, it can travel relatively slower at 265 kmph when needed.
Currently, the US Army has its spine established over the AH-64E Apache helicopter. It is also growing the number of these war machines to enhance its defense forces.
7. Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin
Among the contemporary twin-engine helicopters that come in the medium-range category, the Dauphin from Eurocopter deserves a special mention. This is a multipurpose rotorcraft that has proven its ability to fly impressively fast. Although this is a civilian transport craft, the Dauphin established a record by flying at a top speed of 372 kmph back in 1991 for a 3-km course. This statistic demonstrates that the Dauphin can even cruise faster than the H160M, which is the fastest transport helicopter for the military.
When you explore the world of helicopters, the Dauphin has proven to be the second in the tiltrotor class. You should notice the fenestron tail rotor in this helicopter, which makes it one of the most outstanding crafts in the industry. Since 1975, this helicopter has established several records. One such record involves its ability to run between Paris and London faster than any other helicopter.
Although there is a military-grade version of the Dauphin, only a few countries currently use it. China has already acknowledged it as a military craft, currently using it as an attack helicopter. In India, Pawan Hans currently owns the most prominent fleet of the civilian Dauphin.
8. Airbus H155 [EC155]
The EC155 was the traditional Eurocopter, before Airbus renamed it H155. It has already demonstrated its impressive abilities, bagging the tag as one of the fastest rotorcrafts in the world. The twin-engine helicopter has already accomplished several missions. The versatility of the machine makes it suitable for various departments, including law enforcement, business aviation, and private purposes.
Well, you already know the Dauphin class of helicopters that find extensive use for civilian flights. The five-ton Airbus H155 is an improvised version of this helicopter. The Airbus H155 can reach the highest speed of 300 kmph.
The main rotor head (Spheriflex) integrated into this helicopter assures a hassle-free ride even when it takes high speeds. Besides, people love the stability of this helicopter while in flight and better handling capabilities. The low sound signature defines the benchmarks of this helicopter. It also involves lower maintenance costs as compared to other rotorcrafts. The credit goes to the advanced tail rotor that the manufacturers integrated into this helicopter. They have come up with the concept of shrouded rotors, delivering better yaw control. During ground operations, it also assures more safety, particularly while operating in confined places.
The composite materials in the airframe are highly resistant to corrosion. These are light alloys, which further enhance the capabilities of the helicopter.
9. Airbus H160
When you consider a new generation of helicopters that assure good speed and agility, it’s natural to consider the Airbus H160. This is an EASA-certified machine that impresses users with its low operating cost. Besides, it assures a high safety rating and comes with updated technological enhancements. Even though this is a civilian helicopter, there is a military version of the craft, the 160 M. This military version craft can attain a speed of 287 kmph, which is quite impressive as per civilian standards.
Airbus has strategically integrated an electric landing gear in this helicopter, which makes it the first model in the world with this feature. It also comes with a brake assembly, which further enhances its capabilities. You can also connect the H160M in a digital support environment with great security.
10. Boeing Vertol 234
The Vertol 234 from Boeing is a civilian helicopter. You can consider it as a sibling of the Chinook helicopter of the US. Being one of the fastest crafts of its class, the manufacturers came up with a civilian version of the machine although it was originally a military helicopter.
At the highest speed of 315 kmph, the helicopter can perform really fast mid-air. The versatile craft is equally adroit in carrying both passengers and cargo. Moreover, it has already demonstrated its abilities as a utility transport machine.
This machine is among the heaviest lift copters you would come across. Considering the entire fuselage length, there are several doors. The rear end of the fuselage has a loading ramp, which is impressively wide. Moreover, the helicopter has external cargo hooks (ventral), to carry loads by slinging them under it.
When you consider the attack and utility crafts of the 1960s, this machine proves to be much faster. Currently, the US inventory has the Boeing Vertol 234 in significant numbers, thanks to their speed and capabilities.
11. Mil Mi-26
Currently, this is the largest helicopter in use in Russia. The Mil Mi-26 delivers an impressive performance, even while carrying loads of cargo. It continues to find its name among the fastest crafts in the world. Well, the Mi-26 might be over four decades old, but that doesn’t matter as far as you look at its robust capabilities. Even today, the manufacturer has several orders to fulfill. Some of the most powerful militaries in the world are currently using the Mil Mi-26 helicopter. Moreover, this helicopter has also found its way into civilian operations.
The manufacturer has designed this helicopter to be compatible with heavy payloads. Evidently, the Mil Mi-26 generates more thrust when you consider other rotorcrafts. As a result, they can achieve better speed and carry heavier loads. While carrying around 20K Kgs. of cargo, this helicopter can achieve an impressive speed of 255 kmph.
12. NH Industries NH-90
The NH-90 happens to be a direct rival of the UH-60 Black Hawk in terms of competition. This helicopter is extremely fast. NH Industries has come up with this powerful model, collaborating with some of the key helicopter manufacturers in Europe. The NH-90 has several roles to fulfill. IT serves as a helicopter to transport troops or even cargo across medium ranges.
When the NH-90 takes off, the machine needs to produce adequate thrust. The actual weight of the machine gets several additional tonnes to lift. Currently, these helicopters can attain a speed of 300 kmph, which is quite impressive.
Well, as many as 19 military branches in 13 countries have already used this military-grade helicopter. Even NATO has the NHIndustries NH-90 rotorcrafts in its fleet. Compared to other copters, the NH-90’s range is relatively shorter. However, that doesn’t deter it from delivering its faithful service to military organizations in terms of speed!
Well, we have selected these twelve models across all the segments, which include military, civilian, and logistics, apart from other purposes. It’s tough to rank them according to their speed, given that they belong to different categories. So, we have picked these helicopters from almost all the viable categories. You will find high-performing copters with high speeds for different purposes in our list.