Hill Helicopters’ HX50 rotorcraft is designed specifically for private owners, delivering the ultimate in luxury while excelling in safety and performance. Hill Helicopters refers to the HX50 as a dream car that offers much more freedom. The development of this concept began in 2007 with market research, and plans are for flight testing of three prototypes to begin in 2022 and first deliveries to take place in 2023.
Dr. Jason Hill, aeronautics engineer, founder, and CEO of Hill Helicopters, hand-selected the engineering team for the HX50 to ensure that his vision was met. Because of their experience in closed-mold and infusion process technology, Composite Integration was called in to design and manufacture the tooling and first-off components for the high-performance composites fuselage.
Not only is the composite fuselage design unique, Hill Helicopters is also developing its own turbine engine for the platform, known as the GT50, which will consume only 34-35 gallons of fuel per hour. The HX50 boasts a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 1,650kg (3,640lb) and a useful load of around 800kg, while seating 4 passengers and a pilot. At MTOW, the HX50 reaches a maximum cruise speed of 140 knots at up to 10,000 feet.
“The helicopter industry has long awaited an Elon Musk-style disruption that redefines the modern helicopter. The wait is over,” said Dr. Hill. “The only way to create something that is truly ground-breaking 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.”