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Airbus Helicopters Racer demonstrator successfully completes maiden flight

Airbus Helicopters has completed the successful first flight of its Racer demonstrator aircraft.  

Developed as part of the European Research Clean Sky 2 project, the Racer took to the skies in Marignane, southern France, completing a 30-minute flight that showcased its overall performance. 

This maiden flight kicks off a two-year flight test campaign to progressively expand the aircraft’s flight envelope and demonstrate its high-speed capabilities.  

“This first flight is a proud moment for Airbus Helicopters and for our 40 partners in 13 countries,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “I look forward to watching this demonstrator pioneer high-speed capabilities and develop the eco-mode system that will contribute to reducing fuel consumption.” 

The Racer demonstrator is designed to achieve a cruise speed of over 400 kilometers (250 miles) per hour and to reduce fuel consumption by approximately 20% compared to current-generation helicopters of the same class. The aircraft features double wings with lateral Aneto-1X rotors and a rear fuselage with an asymmetric cross-section profile for better hover performance. 

The hybrid-electrical eco-mode system developed in partnership with Safran Helicopter Engines allows one of the two Aneto-1X engines to be paused during cruise flight, thereby reducing CO2 emissions. Additionally, the Racer aims to showcase advancements in operational acoustic footprint reduction. 

The Racer program has expanded on the accomplishments of the Airbus X-3 demonstrator, another experimental helicopter that achieved cruise speeds of up to 410 kilometers (254 miles) per hour in 2010. 

The post Airbus Helicopters Racer demonstrator successfully completes maiden flight appeared first on AeroTime.

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