The Top 10 Fastest Air Giants in 2024

Helicopters play a crucial role in various aspects of aviation, from logistical operations to combat missions, troop deployment, and supply transportation. Whether it’s for military endeavors or rescue missions, speed is an essential factor when it comes to helicopters. In this article, we will introduce you to the top 10 fastest helicopters in the world.

Taking the crown as the fastest military helicopter is the Eurocopter X3. This remarkable military aircraft is capable of reaching incredible speeds of up to 487 kilometers per hour. The X3 achieved a level flight speed of 255 knots (472 kilometers per hour) over the skies of southern France on June 7, 2013. Impressively, it even reached 263 knots (487 kilometers per hour) a few days earlier, during a daring dive rather than in level flight.

AH-64D Apache.

The AH-64 Apache is undoubtedly the pinnacle of multi-role combat helicopters in the U.S. Army’s arsenal. Renowned for its exceptional speed, it stands as one of the fastest helicopters globally, capable of reaching a staggering maximum speed of 284 kilometers per hour, even in the scorching heat of day.

The AH-64D Apache, a formidable machine, boasts a design featuring four blades and twin turboshaft engines. Its distinctive tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement and tandem cockpit for a two-person crew underline its efficiency and combat readiness. With engines generating a maximum power of 1,890 shaft horsepower each, this remarkable helicopter can soar to impressive altitudes, reaching up to 15,895 feet (4,845 meters), with a climb rate of 2,915 feet per minute. The AH-64 Apache is a true symbol of power and versatility in the world of military aviation.

Mil Mi-26 (Halo)

The Mil Mi-26, known as the “Halo,” is an impressive heavy transport helicopter manufactured by Rosvertol’s aviation plant in Russia. It boasts a remarkable top speed of 295 km/h, placing it among the fastest helicopters globally. What sets the Mi-26 apart is its incredible lifting capacity, as it can effortlessly hoist even an airliner.

This awe-inspiring aircraft is powered by two mighty D-136 turbo-shaft engines, each producing a staggering 11,400 horsepower. With its robust engines and exceptional design, the Mi-26 can cover a maximum flight range of 800 km when utilizing its main fuel tanks, and it can soar to heights of up to 4,600 meters (15,091 feet) above sea level. This helicopter stands as a testament to engineering excellence and continues to be a vital asset for various heavy transport missions.

Mi-28N Night Hunter

The Mil Mi-28, a formidable Russian aircraft, stands as a testament to modern military aviation. This all-weather, day-night, tandem, two-seat anti-armor attack helicopter is a dedicated war machine, purposefully crafted to execute search and destroy missions against a variety of targets on the battlefield. Whether faced with heavily armored tanks, or unarmored vehicles and enemy personnel in the heat of combat, the Mi-28 is an unyielding force to be reckoned with. Not limited to ground targets alone, it also has the capability to engage low-speed airborne threats.

Beneath its sleek exterior, the Mi-28 is equipped with two VK-2500 engines, each delivering a formidable take-off power of 2,200 horsepower. These turboshaft engines grant the Mi-28N the ability to soar to an altitude of 5,600 meters while carrying a normal take-off weight of 10,900 kilograms. This exceptional performance makes it a rival to other renowned attack helicopters like the NH90 and Ka-52 Alligator, as they all strive to reach a maximum speed of 300 kilometers per hour. The Mi-28 is a symbol of cutting-edge aviation technology and military prowess, ready to uphold the security and defense of the nation.

Ka-52 “Alligator”

The Ka-52 Alligator, a cutting-edge creation from the Kamov Design Bureau, represents the future of reconnaissance and combat helicopters tailored to the needs of the Russian Air Force. With its remarkable capability to reach a maximum speed of 300km/h, the Ka-52 ranks seventh among the fastest helicopters worldwide. This versatile aircraft is expertly engineered to engage and neutralize tanks, armored and non-armored ground targets, as well as adversary troops and helicopters, both on the front lines and within tactical reserves.

The Ka-52 Alligator is a formidable two-seat Russian attack helicopter, boasting the incredible power of two VK-2500 turbo-shaft engines, each generating 2,400 horsepower. These robust engines enable the helicopter to soar to altitudes exceeding 5,000 meters (16,404 feet). Furthermore, the Ka-52 can execute take-offs and landings under scorching hot and high-altitude conditions, as well as in the most frigid and icy environments.

NH90

The NH90, a versatile military helicopter, is a remarkable addition to the realm of medium lift, multi-role rotorcraft. Its creation was driven by NATO’s need for a battlefield chopper that could seamlessly transition into naval operations. What sets the NH90 apart is its remarkable cruise speed, soaring at an impressive 300 km/h, cementing its status as one of the fastest helicopters worldwide.

Diving into its specifics, the NH90 comes in two variations: the Tactical Troop Transport (TTH) and the NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH). It’s a jack-of-all-trades, adept at thriving in the harshest environments, be it over land or sea, day or night. With a high-performance engine under its hood, the NH90 can effortlessly reach a staggering maximum altitude of 3,200 meters (10,500 feet) with a climb rate of 2,200 feet per minute. This helicopter is undoubtedly a remarkable feat of engineering, perfectly tailored for the rigors of modern military operations.

AgustaWestland AW139

The AW139, a medium-sized twin-turbine military helicopter, represents a new generation of rotary aircraft brought to life through the innovative engineering and production efforts of AgustaWestland. With a top speed of 306 kilometers per hour, the AW139 ranks as the fifth fastest helicopter worldwide, making it a formidable choice for various missions. This versatile machine can accommodate up to 10 fully equipped soldiers or transport up to 15 passengers swiftly and efficiently.

Introduced in 2003, the AW139 has swiftly established itself as one of AgustaWestland’s most influential creations. In the years following its debut, this exceptional helicopter paved the way for the development of two larger medium-lift counterparts: the military-focused AW149 and the civilian-oriented AW189, further solidifying AgustaWestland’s reputation for cutting-edge aviation technology.

AW101 (EH101) Merlin

The AW101 Merlin is a versatile medium-lift helicopter, boasting impressive capabilities that place it among the fastest helicopters globally. Manufactured by AgustaWestland, it serves both military and civilian purposes.

The AW101 Merlin is propelled by three robust Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca RTM322 turboshaft engines, endowing the helicopter with exceptional lifting capacity and impressive speed. Each of these engines generates a remarkable 2,270shp, allowing the helicopter to operate at altitudes as high as 15,000 feet while achieving a maximum speed of 309 km/h. This remarkable combination of power and performance positions the AW101 Merlin as a top-tier contender in the world of rotary-wing aircraft.

Mi-35M

With a maximum speed of 310 km/h, the Mi-35M holds the prestigious third position among the world’s ten fastest helicopters. This multirole attack helicopter represents a comprehensive modernization of the Mi-24V. Produced by the renowned Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, it has been in operation since 1972, initially by the Soviet Air Force and subsequently by its successor states, as well as more than 30 other nations.

The Mi-35M, a remarkable aircraft in its own right, entered the serial production phase in 2005 at the Rostvertol plant. It is equipped with two powerful engines, each boasting an impressive 2,200 horsepower. The helicopter’s operational altitude reaches 5,400 meters (17,716 feet), and it boasts a commendable normal range of 460 kilometers. This cutting-edge helicopter stands as a testament to modern aviation technology and continues to serve multiple nations with excellence.

CH-47 Chinook

The CH-47F Chinook, equipped with two robust Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines, boasts an impressive power output of 4,777 shp (3,529 kW) each. These powerful engines empower the CH-47F to soar to altitudes as high as 20,000 feet (6,096 meters) while effortlessly carrying a substantial payload of up to 10,886 kilograms. This remarkable combination of power and versatility makes the CH-47F Chinook a formidable force in military aviation.

Eurocopter X3

The Eurocopter X3, a remarkable aircraft, proudly holds the title of the world’s fastest helicopter. On June 7, 2013, this extraordinary machine set an unofficial speed record for helicopters, reaching an impressive 255 knots (472 km/h; 293 mph) during level flight over the picturesque landscapes of France.

The X3’s incredible speed is made possible by its two Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322-01/9a turboshaft engines, each boasting a remarkable power output of 1,693 kW (2,270 hp). This exceptional powerplant is a testament to modern engineering and aeronautics.

Helicopters have played an integral role in the evolution of warfare, starting from their emergence during World War II and continuing to shape the battlefield landscape today. Whether it’s combat missions, supply transport, troop deployments, or daring search and rescue operations, helicopters have consistently proven their worth. In the realm of military aviation, questions abound about the best attack helicopters, the most formidable gunships, and the swiftest aerial combat machines. To answer these questions comprehensively, we’ve meticulously analyzed and ranked the top 10 attack helicopters based on their overall performance, firepower, protective measures, and cutting-edge avionics. These remarkable aircraft represent the pinnacle of aerial technology and capability.

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