The Airbus Helicopters Racer has won the paint shop where its livery has been affixed to it. The device, heir to the X3 with the addition of innovative technologies, should make its first flight before the end of this year.
A beautiful livery for the Racer…
The information went on Twitter, announced by the boss of Airbus Helicopters himself, Bruno Even. The Racer entered the paint booth and received a splendid livery which is only waiting for the first flight to be truly inaugurated. Thus the Racer technology demonstrator from Airbus Helicopters entered the paint shop at the beginning of the month. Bruno Even indicated that “the device was on track for ground tests and the first flight before the end of the year”. The aircraft will be powered by two Safran Aneto-1X engines which can also fly in “eco (nomic) mode”, using one engine in cruise while the other idles.
…Towards its first flight by the end of this year
Eco Mode is intended for twin-engine helicopters ˜: it consists of putting one of the two engines on standby during cruise flight, thus allowing the other to operate at a more optimal and more economical power regime. energy. This mode of operation makes it possible to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by around 15%, and to increase the distance covered. Whenever necessary (during a landing or an emergency procedure, for example), the standby motor is automatically and very quickly (in a few seconds) restored to full power thanks to an innovative electric motor. On the Racer, the Mode Eco uses an Aneto-1A engine and a fast restart electrical system developed in collaboration with Aquitaine Electronique (AECE Group) and Safran Cabin (Ventilation Systems). , and a high power density electric motor mechanically connected to the hot parts of the engine.
A concentrate of technology
The Racer – like the H160 previously – was a victim of the pandemic, but this episode is now to be combined with the past. Heir to the X3 program with the addition of new technologies, the Racer aims to demonstrate hybridization, stop and start functions, making it possible to reduce consumption by 15% by stopping one of the engines in flight and to operate at full power on the second turbine engine. A concentrate of technology, the Racer is characterized, among other things, by the shafts connecting the main gearbox (BTP) on either side to the side rotor gearboxes. These shafts, whose rotation speed is 3,000 rpm, are the most innovative parts produced to date due to their length, which is around 3 m. The empennage, i.e. the horizontal stabilizer and the fins, will be produced by Aernnova, a Spanish company. Of the asymmetrical type and made of composite materials, this tail is also the first of its type designed by Airbus Helicopters and, just like the public works-side rotors connecting shaft, it is also distinguished by its exceptional dimensions, since its height reaches 3m. Avio Aero, for its part, took care of the BTP, but also and among other things of the engine cradles, which are made of titanium.