For the past 60 years, helicopters have been built according to the same basic principle. Now, 40+ partners from across Europe are jointly developing a completely new design. This helicopter of the future will represent a new benchmark in terms of performance and efficiency while putting revolutionary development processes into practice. One bold vision is the RACER High Speed Helicopter Demonstrator, led by Airbus Helicopters. The project is part of the EU aeronautics research programme Clean Sky 2.
Airbus Helicopters has taken the lead in this complex development process and contributes the experience it gained with the pilot project X3. Airbus sites in Germany, France, Spain and Poland are responsible for around 50 per cent of development and manufacturing. Overall project management, assembly and flight testing are managed by Airbus. The project reached its first milestone in 2016 when the RACER architecture was finalised. In 2020, flight tests are to begin. The new generation of helicopters could enter into service in 2030. This would be a major achievement for the European aerospace industry and for the EU and its Clean Sky programme alike, as it highlights the success of a collaborative European approach to innovation. This is especially crucial while discussions on the Clean Sky 3 programme are ongoing.