— -- Airbus has filed a patent for what could be a super speedy helicopter that employs a unique design that includes some elements found of fixed-wing airplanes.
"The invention relates to a compound helicopter comprising a fuselage, at least one engine and a main rotor driven by at least one engine," the French company said in a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The design calls for at least one pair of fixed wings. Each fixed wing has a lower main wing and upper secondary wing that are connected, with propellers located where the wings connect on each side. Locating the propellers behind the wings improves lift and reduces noise and vibrations, according to the patent filing.
The idea is for the aircraft to fly like a helicopter but also have the ability to transform into an airplane during flight yet still descend vertically like a helicopter when it comes time to land.
"Said fixed wing structure provides additional lift during horizontal cruise flight," the patent filing says.
It's unclear when or if the design in the patent will ever one day take to the skies. However, Airbus has a history of innovating when it comes to helicopters. The Eurocopter X3 hybrid hit 293 mph during a test flight in 2013.