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Top 10 High Speed Helicopters

Helicopters are not very good at flying at high speeds, due to issues like retreating blade stall and an upward pointing rotor system thrust vector. It should therefore not come as a surprise that the more airplane-like designs dominate the list of the top three fastest VTOL machines. The first class of fastest machines are the tiltrotors, followed by the hybrid helicopters that are equipped with one or two propellers. Finally, come the conventional helicopters. Also remarkable is the Lockheed Cheynene, with its high speed and its somewhat controversial development history.

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1  Ehud Gavron

Thursday, August 20, 2015 4:15 AM

Your first two are indeed tiltrotors.  However, the next five are the hybrids including the Cheyenne and the S-72.

You list only three conventional helicopters and all your speed numbers are wrong.
The maximum allowed airspeed (Vne) of these helicopters is significantly lower.
Apparently lots of sites on the web copy from each other -- and they all got it from
bad numbers.

The Boeing/Vertol CH-47 Chinook is #1.  315kph/195mph/170knots
The Mi MI-24 Hind is #2.  310kph/192mph/167knots
The Augusta Westland AW101 is #3.  309kph/192mph/167knots

See list at:

See discussion of Chinook as fastest [non-hybrid non-tiltrotor] helicopter at:

There are lots of places to research this.  Wikipedia and google are the lazy ways to avoid research.

Best regards,

Ehud Gavron

2  helistartgz

Thursday, August 20, 2015 5:02 PM

Hoi Ehud,

Thanks for your critical remarks. I will have a look at the Vne numbers again.
3  helistartgz

Sunday, August 23, 2015 1:53 PM

I checked the Vne of the EC255 and find it to be specified at 201mph by Airbus (

The Mil Mi-24V states a Vne of 208mph at all resources I can find (multiple pdf specification documents published by several East European forces).

The Vne specs for the Sikorsky S-70 model is most confusing. In the end I used this reference ( which indeed states that Vne is very high at 195 knots. One might wonder if it is correct though.

By the way, the top 10 list is generated automatically by searching the Helistart database for the models with the highest maximum speed (so it automatically stays up to date with any changes made in the database). The reason that there also show up non conventional helicoptor types is created by my decision to fill the database with all aircraft that have true VTOL capibilities.

If there is an error in the stated Vne or my thinking, please make a reply.


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