European consortium Airbus Helicopters will conduct the first flight tests of advanced high-speed rotorcraft hybrid RACER at the end of 2021. As writes Flightglobal originally the test was scheduled to end in 2020, but had to be postponed because of some technical difficulties encountered during the development of the aircraft.
Today, the development of high-speed helicopters engaged in several countries, including France, Germany and the United States. The aim of these developments is the creation of an aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing in helicopter, and a quick horizontal flight at speeds available today are not ordinary helicopters.
The new machine is planned to be used in a wide variety of purposes, including rapid transport of passengers from the city to the suburbs and planting them on a regular helipad, equip which are much easier and cheaper than to build a small aircraft airfield.
Airbus Helicopters presented the draft rotorcraft RACER in mid-2017. The aircraft received the closed wing, which with a relatively small wingspan is bigger than a conventional wing area and creates a greater lifting force.
Rotorcraft is equipped with one main rotor and two pushing on the wing tips. RACER can reach speeds up to 220 knots (407 km / h) and to perform flights on distance up to 740 miles. Cruising speed rotorcraft will be 190 knots.
The development of rotorcraft RACER is part of the European program Clean Sky 2, which implies the creation of several new types of eco-friendly and economical aircraft. It is assumed that in cruise flight, one of the two turboshaft engines of the helicopter will turn off.
If necessary, for example, when landing the motor will quickly spin stopped the engine before starting and operating speed. In addition, during takeoff, landing and emergency mode, the motor will transfer a portion of the output shaft of the rotor, reducing the load on the engine.
According to chief project engineer, RACER Bryce of Makingan, the designers have not yet solved two serious problems: the design of the main gearbox and development of the transmission, which will transfer some power to the pusher propellers on the wing. To solve these problems and to start the production of gearboxes and transmissions planned before the end of 2020.
Then developers will be able to complete the Assembly of the first flight model of the rotorcraft and to proceed to his trial. The program of the upcoming flight tests of rotorcraft designed for 200 flight hours.