Airbus Helicopters X3 retires to Paris museum


The Airbus Helicopter X3 can now be viewed at Paris-Le Bourget.
Eurocopter X3 (Credit: A Pechi)

Eurocopter X3 (Photo: A Pechi)

The Airbus Helicopter X3 high-speed demonstrator has been retired to the French national musée de l’Air et de l’Espace (Air and Space museum) of Paris-Le Bourget, where it will be displayed alongside other aviation legends, including the supersonic Concorde.

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Catherine Maunoury, CEO of the musée de l’Air et de l’Espace and twice world aerobatics champion, says: “We welcome this illustrious addition to France’s leading aviation museum, where our collection includes other historic rotorcraft from Airbus Helicopters’ lineage – like the S.A. 3210-01 Super Frelon, which 50 years earlier set a world speed record of 350 km/hr. The X3 continues a tradition of excellence at Airbus Helicopters, building on decades of innovation, research and development.”

Dominique Maudet, Airbus Helicopters Executive Vice President Global Business & Services, adds: “It is appropriate that the X3 is joining other renowned aircraft at the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace that have helped shape the aviation industry, especially since from its conception, it showed Airbus Helicopters’ entrepreneurial drive to deliver a viable demonstrator to serve our customers’ high-speed requirements.”

The helicopter made its first flight in September 2010 and flew for 155 hours on 199 flights.

During one of these flights, the X3 helicopter achieved level flight speed of 255 knots (472 kmh) on 7 June 2013, beating previous high speed record reached by a helicopter.