Hill Helicopters unveil single turbine X50

Hill Helicopters, a Staffordshire-based OEM, has announced development of its all-new light single turbine X50 helicopter this week. Reportedly 13 years in development, the X50 includes five seats, an all composite three bladed main rotor and a retractable landing gear. All powered by a 500-shp powerplant that currently remains undisclosed.

“The HX50 will deliver a truly desirable, attainable and capable aircraft that will relaunch general aviation” aid Hill Helicopters CEO, Jason Hill, who previously worked at GKN Westland (now Leonardo) and founded Dynamiq Engineering.

In terms of performance, the X50 will have a 140-knot cruise speed, a maximum range of 700 nm, and a maximum payload of 1,760 pounds. Hill said that the HX50 is in the advanced design phase, with three prototypes due to begin flight testing in 2022. Pre-orders will begin in the fourth quarter of that year, with first deliveries planned to commence in 2023.

Hill added: “The helicopter industry has long awaited an Elon Musk-style disruption that redefines the modern helicopter. The wait is over. The only way to create something that is truly groundbreaking is to design from the ground up, giving equal focus to aerospace design, performance, and safety as well as to the artistic and experiential aspects, including comfort, ergonomics, intuitive technology, and luxury.”

At a glance: HX50

  • Gross Weight 3,630 lbs (1650 kg)
  • Empty Weight 1,870 lbs (850 kg)
  • Payload 1,760 lbs (800 kg)
  • Cargo 200 lbs (90 kg)
  • Fuel 700 lbs (317 kg)
  • Length 32 feet (9.8 m)
  • Width 5 feet (1.6 m)
  • SHP 500 HP
  • T/O Power 440 HP
  • Continuous Power 400 HP
  • Max Cruise Speed 140 kts (at max gross weight up to 10,000 feet)
  • Fuel Burn 35 gph at 140 kts; 22 gph at 110 kts
  • Capacity 5 people, including pilot

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