Why are Helicopters so Slow?

Helicopters are undeniably slow compared to aeroplanes. There is no pure helicopter that flies faster than 400km/h (250mph), yet aeroplanes have been going much faster for a long time, and even some trains and cars can go faster. The Short Skyvan, a propeller driven aircraft with fixed landing gear nicknamed “The Shed” by pilots, has about the same top speed as the world’s fastest pure helicopter. What do helicopters do differently? Helicopters have rotors instead of wings. This one difference leads to big changes because, unlike an aeroplane wing, a helicopter rotor has parts moving at different speeds even when it is hovering Continue Reading