FRANCHITTI GETS A LIFT IN NEW HYBRID COPTER
Franchitti gets a lift in new hybrid copter
June 21, 2012
NEWTON, Iowa – Dario Franchitti was looking forward to seeing the decidedly new spin on the helicopter June 20 in Grand Prairie, Texas. He saw it -- and the ground -- from different angles.
The four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion and helicopter pilot was among more than 1,000 guests, including Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, at the event to view the new X3 hybrid helicopter at American Eurocopter. The X3 can cruise at 264 mph, considerably faster than a conventional helicopter, and demonstrates unique maneuverability.
Following the public unveiling, Franchitti attended a briefing conducted by Eurocopter flight test engineers to go over the characteristics of the X3 before climbing into the co-pilot seat for a 20-minute test run.
“The flight was really incredible,” said Franchitti, who has flown and owned a Eurocopter EC120 and AS350 B3. “(American Eurocopter president Marc Paganini) and I had this joke that my IndyCars are faster than all of his helicopters, but I guess that they’ve fixed that one now. The X3 is now faster than the IndyCars.That says it all.”
Franchitti, driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, enters the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 23 with two victories in four starts at Iowa Speedway.
Read the entire IndyCar.com article here