๐Ÿš๐Ÿ’ซ The Phantom X9 Helicopter: Is this Airbus’s Secret Weapon or a Billion Dollar Mirage? ๐Ÿค”

TL;DR: The mysterious X9, a project initially sketched by former helicopter chief Lutz Bertling in 2012, is resurfacing as a possible successor to Airbus Helicopters’ H145 chopper. Airbus has remained tight-lipped on the matter, leading to speculation about whether the X9 even exists or if it’s just a figment of our rotor-obsessed imaginations. ๐Ÿ˜ตโ€๐Ÿ’ซ

Hello, fellow rotor-heads! ๐Ÿš We’ve got a piping hot dish of airborne speculation for you today, garnished with a pinch of intrigue. Remember the elusive X9 project that former helicopter boss Lutz Bertling mentioned a decade ago? ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ Well, it’s rearing its intriguing rotor blades once again as a potential successor to Airbus Helicopters’ H145 light-twin chopper.

The enigmatic X9 is like Bigfoot of the helicopter world: often talked about, seldom seen, and believed by some to be a myth. But hey, who doesn’t love a good mystery, right? ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ”

It all began in 2012 when Bertling casually mentioned the X9 and X6 SuperPuma replacement. While the X6 ended up in the ‘abandoned projects’ bin, the X9 disappeared into the shadows. Since then, details have been as scarce as hen’s teeth, with Airbus keeping a tighter lid on it than a pickle jar at a weight watchers’ meeting. ๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿคซ

In 2020, however, a German subsidiary of Airbus Helicopters let slip that their board had been briefed on the X9 and unspecified “further steps.” Now, this could mean anything from planning the next generation of civilian helicopters to debating the best flavors of doughnuts in the break room. ๐Ÿฉ What is certain, however, is that any development of the X9 will breathe new life into the German side of Airbus Helicopters.

So what’s the hold up, you ask? ๐Ÿค” With the H145 still in high demand and a billion-dollar price tag for a new helicopter, launching a successor isn’t as easy as ordering a latte at Starbucks. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธโ˜•

While it’s all hush-hush for now, our sources hint that Airbus is quietly considering taking the X9 one step beyond the drawing board, even exploring propulsion and other options for a planned demonstrator. And if you’re not familiar with the term, a demonstrator is basically the testing playground for new tech. It’s like the testing phase in a cooking show, where chefs experiment with flavors before unveiling the final dish. ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ› 

Airbus did offer a statement that read like a cryptic horoscope: “As market leaders, we are of course looking into the next generation of helicopters…Currently our light twins are best sellers with over 65% of the civil and parapublic market.” Now, if that’s not a teaser, we don’t know what is! ๐Ÿง

So, dear rotor-heads, as we dig into this layered mystery, we wonder: Is the X9 Airbus’s secret weapon or just a billion-dollar mirage? Is this phantom chopper set to take flight, or will it continue to hover in the realm of possibilities? ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

Now, over to you – what do you think about the mystery X9? Do you believe it exists or is it just a cleverly concocted tale? And if it does exist, will it transform the helicopter