Eurocopter unveiled a new-look hybrid helicopter on Monday in a bid to counter U.S. rival Sikorsky’s efforts to break the speed barrier by rewriting the rules of rotorcraft design. The X3 protoype — which combines forward-facing propeller engines astride two short aircraft wings with overhead rotor blades — was unveiled at the European company’s factory in southern France following months of secrecy about the project. The half-plane, half-helicopter design aims to overcome chronic obstacles to high-speed helicopter flight by combining the advantages of fixed-wing aircraft with those of a standard helicopter, allowing it to fly at 220 knots or 400 km/hour. The move by the world’s largest civil helicopter maker comes less than two weeks after United Technologies unit Sikorsky claimed an unofficial speed record of 250 knots (460 km/hour) with its own next-generation prototype called X2. Today, helicopters typically cruise around 140 knots. Eurocopter, part of European aerospace group EADS, said its X3, sporting black-and-white striped propellers, had flown for the first time on Sept. 6 at a French government testing site. Sikorsky’s X2 made its maiden flight in 2008. The technology clash reflects fierce competition between helicopter makers to deliver more speed without sacrificing stability or efficiency. Under current designs, rotor tips approach supersonic speeds when pushed to fly too fast and this can threaten the stability of the base of the rotor, executives said. Helicopter makers have devoted years of research to solving the problem, but typically the faster a helicopter flies, the less efficient it is when hovering and vice-versa. Eurocopter Chief Exceutive Lutz Bertling said the X3 would be more cost-efficient than its competitors, which also include the existing Bell Boeing tilt-rotor aircraft. “All big helicopter manufacturers are looking for more distance and more speed,” Bertling told reporters. “It only makes sense to increase speed if in the end what you gain is not over-compensated by increased cost.” If successful, the new machine will be marketed for long-distance search and rescue, inter-city shuttle services or military uses including special forces operations. Reuters reported Eurocopter’s plans to unveil the X3, ending months of industry speculation. The Sikorsky model features two main rotors atop the cabin, which spin in opposite directions. That both neutralises the spinning force applied to a traditional single-main-rotor helicopter and provides a speed boost. One thing the European and U.S. machines have in common is that their unusual design eliminates the need for the sideways tail rotor used to stabilise traditional helicopters. By Dialogo September 28, 2010
Baltimore should get a handful of prime-time games, too. Here is a complete breakdown of the Baltimore Ravens’ 2020 schedule, including dates and start times for all 16 games and our early prediction.NFL OFFSEASON 2020:Draft grades | Power rankings | Best free agents availableBaltimore Ravens schedule 2020 Here is the complete Baltimore Ravens schedule for the 2020 NFL season:WeekDateOpponentKickoff timeTV1Sept. 13vs. Browns1 p.m. ETCBS2Sept. 20at Texans4:25 p.m. ETCBS3Sept. 28vs. Chiefs (MNF)8:15 p.m. ETESPN4Oct. 4at Redskins1 p.m. ETCBS5Oct. 11vs. Bengals1 p.m. ETCBS6Oct. 18at Eagles1 p.m. ETCBS7Oct. 25vs. Steelers1 p.m. ETCBS8BYE———9Nov. 8at Colts1 p.m. ETCBS10Nov. 15at Patriots (SNF)8:20 p.m. ETNBC11Nov. 22vs. Titans1 p.m. ETCBS12Nov. 26at Steelers (Thanksgiving)8:20 p.m. ETNBC13Dec. 3vs. Cowboys (TNF)8:20 p.m. ETFox/NFLN/Amazon14Dec. 14at Browns (MNF)8:15 p.m. ETESPN15Dec. 20vs. Jaguars1 p.m. ETCBS16Dec. 27vs. Giants1 p.m. ETCBS17Jan. 3at Bengals1 p.m. ETCBS(For Canadian viewers, each game can be streamed on DAZN.)Dallas and Kansas City look like the most-intriguing home games. That marks just the sixth meeting between the Ravens and Cowboys, and Baltimore 4-1. The Chiefs offer an opportunity to see the last two MVP quarterbacks in action. Jackson and Patrick Mahomes II should put on a show in that one. Kansas City beat Baltimore in a 33-28 thriller in 2019, and we expect more of the same. Ravens strength of schedule & predictionBaltimore’s opponents had a 112-144 record last season, which makes the Ravens’ record the easiest in the league when it comes to last year’s record. That could be a little misleading knowing that seven games are against teams that won six games or less last season. That includes two apiece with Cincinnati and Cleveland – teams that improved significantly in the offseason. Toughest tests: New England and Houston are two of the three teams on Baltimore’s schedule that won 10 or more games last season. Both of those games are on the road. The Texans will be looking for revenge after a 41-7 loss last season, and it’s always exciting to get Jackson and Deshaun Watson on the same field. Despite two playoff victories at Gillette Stadium, Baltimore has never won a regular-season game at New England. That 0-5 record will put to the test. MORE: Strength of schedule for all 32 teams in 2020Biggest breaks: Tennessee and Kansas City are the only teams on Baltimore’s schedule who won more than three road games last season. The Ravens should be able to take advantage of that home schedule, especially if they can take care of business against the AFC North. Remember, Cleveland beat Baltimore 40-25 in Week 4 last season in what turned out to be one of the more head-scratching results of the entire season. Bottom line: It’s asking too much to win 14 games again, but Baltimore should be able to take advantage of that favorable schedule at home to keep pace with the other Super Bowl contenders in the AFC. It still starts with the AFC North. The Ravens are 8-4 in the division the last two seasons, which isn’t significantly better than Pittsburgh (7-4-1) or Cleveland (6-5-1). Cincinnati (2-10) should be better with Joe Burrow, too. That said, Baltimore remains the team to beat in the division. Record prediction: 12-4 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson led the Baltimore Ravens to a 14-2 record in 2019 – a mark that will be difficult to replicate given one of the NFL’s tougher schedules in 2020.That first-place schedule includes conference games against New England, Kansas City and Tennessee – which shocked the Ravens in the AFC Divisional playoffs last season. Baltimore will face the AFC South and NFC East this season, and the AFC North should be improved across the board.