Innovation News 30 May 2024

Latecoere’s innovation team takes part in Airbus Helicopters’ milestone event as the RACER programme takes off

A few weeks after the first flight of the RACER demonstrator on April 25th, 2024, aerospace enthusiasts and industry leaders gathered at Airbus Helicopters’ Marignane test base for a historic event: the unveiling of the RACER demonstrator. This occasion marked a significant milestone, with Latecoere making an important contribution to the programme.

Photo credit: Airbus Helicopters

Developed within the European Research Clean Sky 2 initiative and gathering 40 partners from 13 European countries, the RACER (Rapid And Cost-Effective Rotorcraft) programme aims to revolutionize rotorcraft capabilities by maximizing speed, efficiency, and mission performance. With its unique design and advanced technology, the RACER demonstrator pushes the boundaries of high-speed rotorcraft.

Latecoere is a key partner in the RACER programme. The innovation teams designed, manufactured and installed the Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems (EWIS) that form the backbone of the aircraft’s advanced electrical platform. Leveraging its expertise and commitment to excellence, Latecoere’s contributions ensure the reliability and performance of the RACER demonstrator.

Grégory Cau Jamin, EWIS Design Engineer at Latecoere, reflects on the team’s pride: “Latecoere is honored to support Airbus Helicopters’ RACER programme. Watching it fly today feels very special. For us engineers, moments like this are the best recognition ever! The event was a special opportunity to meet with our colleagues at Airbus Helicopters, partners from around Europe, inspiring leaders, and even the pilots themselves. We have so much gratitude for Airbus Helicopters for letting us be part of this celebration.”

Photo credit: Latecoere

The RACER demonstrator, optimized for a cruise speed of over 400 km/h, represents a significant advancement in rotorcraft technology. This impressive velocity, coupled with a targeted fuel consumption reduction of around 20% compared to current generation helicopters of the same class, underscores the programme’s commitment to efficiency and sustainability. These performance gains pave the way for enhanced mission capabilities and cost-efficiency.

Looking ahead, the RACER programme enters a new phase of testing. Over the next two years, Airbus Helicopters and its partners, including Latecoere, will refine the RACER demonstrator, pushing the boundaries of high-speed rotorcraft technology and contributing to the future of mobility.

Photo credit: Airbus Helicopters

This project has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements No 807090 and 945542.



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