This is an aircraft that boasts the best of both worlds.

  • Airbus Racer can fly faster than a regular helicopter

  • It also stands out for its operational efficiency and reduced acoustic footprint.

The Airbus Racer can take off like a helicopter and fly almost as fast as an airplane. After many years of development, the European manufacturer presented to the public one of its most original and ambitious projects: hybrid aircraft which is distinguished by its versatility and, above all, by its operational efficiency.

The Airbus Racer formula is very different from any other product on the market. We are talking about a proposal that combines a specially aerodynamic fuselage, a helicopter rotor, a fixed wing and propellers. And all this is combined with an advanced engine power management system.

Racer, Airbus hybrid

The racer does not need a runway to take off, but if one is available, it can also be used to navigate along it to gain speed and take off. As Airbus assures, as soon as it takes off, it will reach higher speeds than that of a conventional helicopter, but lower than that of an airplane.

One of the most noticeable advantages of this hybrid is its efficiency. It can save about 20% fuel compared to helicopters with similar characteristics. This is possible thanks to the aerodynamic optimization system and the “eco mode” driving mode.

As we speak, the Racer has been on Airbus’ plans for many years. The Airbus Helicopters subsidiary, headquartered in Marignane, focused on the project as part of the European Clean Skies plan, which aimed to develop cleaner transport technologies. Now the manufacturer shows the evolution of the project.

He assures that not only fuel consumption has decreased, but also the acoustic footprint. However, it should be noted that this is a demo model and may undergo changes to its production model. Reuters notes that NATO members may be offered military units.

In this sense, future Racer operators can benefit from its versatility and speed. “The purpose of Racer is not to go as fast as possible, but to offer operational capabilities upgraded at a reasonable cost for missions where speed can really be an advantage,” says Julien Guitton of Airbus.

Although the public announcement was made this week, the hybrid first took off a few days ago, albeit away from the media. Those present at the event included industry leaders, politicians and representatives of the European Union.

Images | Airbus

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