HomeTechnologyAirbus Racer Takes Off: Innovative High-Speed Helicopter Begins Testing

Airbus Racer Takes Off: Innovative High-Speed Helicopter Begins Testing

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The inaugural flight of the Racer demonstrator, which Airbus Helicopters constructed as part of the Clean Sky 2 European Research initiative, took place in Marignane. After approximately thirty minutes of flight, the flight test crew could evaluate the aircraft’s overall performance. 

Commencing a flight campaign that will span two years and seek to gradually expand the aircraft’s flight envelope while showcasing its high-speed capabilities, this significant achievement signifies the beginning of that endeavor. 

Bruno Even, the chief executive officer of Airbus Helicopters, remarked that Racer’s ninety patents exemplify the extent of innovation that can be accomplished when European partners collaborate. 

Airbus Helicopters’ Racer demonstrator
Airbus Helicopters’ Racer demonstrator

With a target cruise speed exceeding 400 km/h, the Racer demonstrator strives to strike the optimal balance between mission performance, cost-effectiveness, and velocity. In contrast to helicopters of its category from the current generation, the Racer aims to achieve a fuel consumption reduction of approximately 20% by implementing an innovative eco-mode propulsion system and aerodynamic optimization. The hybrid-electrical eco-mode system, which was developed in collaboration with Safran Helicopter Engines, permits one of the two Aneto-1X engines to be deactivated during a routine flight, thereby aiding in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, the Racer intends to illustrate how its unique architecture can help reduce its operational acoustic footprint. 

The Racer is a significant advancement over the aerodynamic configuration that was verified by the Airbus Helicopters X3 technology demonstrator in 2013. The X3, with its record-breaking speed of 472 km/h, pushed the boundaries of what was considered possible for a helicopter. Its primary objective was to validate the compound architecture, which integrated energy-efficient VTOL flight capacity, fixed wings for lift, and lateral rotors for propulsion. Building on this foundation, the Racer endeavors to refine the compound formula to resemble an operational configuration more closely, thereby providing enhanced capabilities for specific missions where rapidity can be a distinct advantage. 

Frontier India News Network
Frontier India News Networkhttps://frontierindia.com/briefs
Frontier India News Network is the in-house news collection and distribution agency.

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