Museum features radically designed, newly restored XH-51A

When it comes to Aviation, higher and faster is typically the name of the game, and one aircraft was trying to make its mark by flying faster than any rotor-wing aircraft at the time.

In 1962, the Lockheed Aircraft Company came out with the XH-51A, which was the second in a series of rotor-wing aircraft and was an evolution of the CL-475 aircraft, which utilized a revolutionary rigid-rotor system, according to Bob Mitchell, U.S. Army Aviation Museum curator.

Although the XH-51’s looks aren’t very striking, the helicopter was able to achieve speeds that few rotor-wing aircraft could attain – close to 300 knots – with average speeds of helicopters at the time reaching 80-90 knots, said Mitchell.

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United States Army Aviation Museum

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Photo By San Diego Air & Space Museum Archive [No restrictions, Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons