Labeled a “disruptive” design, Hill Helicopters announced its HX50, which features a decidedly sleek exterior, three-blade composite main rotor and Fenestron-style ducted tail rotor. The five-seat helo uses an undisclosed turbine engine capable of 500 SHP but limited to 440 SHP for takeoff and 400 SHP maximum continuous. The company says that the HX50 is “the world’s first truly private, luxury helicopter crafted to deliver a whole new experience in safety, performance, adventure, comfort, and elegance. Its composite structure and rotor system, optimized engine, reimagined avionics, and elevated interior design together make the HX50 a high-tech and high-performance personal aircraft,” according to the company.
“The helicopter industry has long awaited an Elon Musk-style disruption that redefines the modern helicopter. The wait is over,” says Dr. Jason Hill, founder and CEO of Hill Helicopters. “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. The HX50 brings all of this together to deliver a truly unique aircraft and experience.”
The HX50 will use a composite fuselage to keep the empty weight to 1,870 pounds against a max-gross weight of 3,630 pounds. Cruise speed is an anticipated 140 KTAS at best, with an economy cruise of 110 KTAS.
Never heard of Dr. Hill? The company says he is a “20-year helicopter pilot [who] founded Hill Helicopters to design the ideal personal luxury helicopter that blends the latest safety and efficient performance technology with a truly luxurious and high-tech experience. Hill received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Aston University and a Ph.D. in aeronautics from Cranfield University.”
Price? Not yet released, but you have time to save up since the HX50 is in the “advanced design phase” now and will be in flight test by 2022, with deliveries to come the year after.