“Hill Helicopters was founded upon the principal of delivering the customer's ideal aircraft, and every aspect of the HX50's design is born from this philosophy,” says Dr Jason Hill, founder and CEO of Hill Helicopters. “While the standard HX50 design incorporates retractable wheeled landing gear, a number of customers have requested a fixed skid undercarriage option to ensure their aircraft provides maximum flexibility and robustness off-airfield. We also recognise many of our commercially certified HC50 customers will require rugged fixed gear for their operations. As both helicopters are in every respect identical in design and performance.”
The skid landing gear will be offered at the same price as the standard retractable gear, and will have the same look as the standard HX50's while delivering greater landing capability on unprepared surfaces. Crafted from composite and aluminium with steel wear shoes, the landing gear features a wide skid heel, allowing for easier landing in snow, mud and loose gravel, and implements the latest vibration tuning technology to avoid ground resonance.
Slightly lighter than the wheeled landing gear, the fixed skid undercarriage is expected to decrease cruise speed by 15 knots. Either landing gear option works with the Hill pop-out emergency float system, which is located in the aircraft's belly.
A new design, the HX50 will be a five-seat, turbine-powered, 500-horsepower rotorcraft. Its composite structure and flight control surfaces, optimised engine, reimagined avionics and elevated interior design together make the HX50 an exquisite high tech and high-performance personal aircraft. The HC50 is the fully certified commercial version of the HX50 design.