Airbus Helicopters has unveiled Racer high speed helicopter concept at the Paris air show. RACER stands for Rapid And Cost-Effective Rotorcraft.
It is part of the European Clean Sky 2 research programme. This demonstrator will incorporate a host of innovative features and will be optimised for a cruise speed of more than 400 km/h.
The Racer demonstrator will be built around a simple architecture, ensuring safety and cost-efficiency. An innovative “box-wing” design, optimised for aerodynamic efficiency, will provide lift in cruise mode while isolating passengers during ground operations from the “pusher” lateral rotors designed to generate thrust in forward flight.
The demonstrator will be powered by two Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 engines. An “eco mode” will be tested by the engine manufacturer to demonstrate an electrically-powered “start and stop” of one engine in flight. This generates fuel savings and increased range. The Racer will also have a hybrid metallic-composite airframe, designed for low weight and low recurring costs. It will be equipped with a new HVDC electrical generation, which will significantly contribute to weight reduction.
Based on the company’s self-funded X3 demonstrator, the Racer project will bring the technology closer to an operational design . The platform is suitable for a wide spectrum of missions where increased speed and efficiency are important. It includes emergency medical services (EMS) and, search and rescue (SAR) operations, as well as for public services, commercial air transport and private and business aviation.
Final assembly of the demonstrator is expected to start in 2019, with a first flight the next year.
Source : Airbus