Innovation News 20 December 2022

Racer: Power On!

The Racer successfully completed its power on test at the Airbus Helicopters facility in Marignane (France), firing up all systems to conduct initial functional checks. Behind the symbolic “power on” are years of hard work and collaboration between all of the 40 partners in 13 European countries. Latecoere partners with Airbus Helicopters for the design and assembling of the electrical and mechanical harnesses (EWIS) of this innovative high speed demonstrator.

– Serge Bérenger (Chief R&T and Innovation Latecoere) and Stébastien Dubois (Head of Programmes Clean Aviation) with Airbus Helicopters Racer teams

Developed by Airbus Helicopters in the frame of the Clean Sky 2 European research programme, the Racer (Rapid and Cost-Effective Rotorcraft) demonstrator is being developed as a high-speed helicopter aiming to achieve optimal speed, cost efficiency, sustainability and performance. With a cruise speed that is double that of a conventional helicopter, Racer will be hugely advantageous for missions where time is of the essence such as search and rescue operations and emergency medical transport. The aircraft also has scope to boost efficiency for inter-city urban air mobility.

As for environmental benefits, the Racer will:

  • Slash emissions by 20% compared to a “medium class” helicopter
  • Reduce noise by 30%
  • Reduce fuel consumption at 180 kts (330km/h)

The next step for the Racer team will be to conduct ground tests, including taxiing and hover tests. This will allow the team to collate further data on the aircraft’s performance to ensure that it is ready for flight testing in 2023.

Read more about the programme:

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.


Photo credit: Airbus Helicopters – Lorette Fabre



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