So, lets go over the definition of helicopter again. First, they don't have wings, right? Or propellers? Those are for airplanes. Except for the Airbus Racer concept chopper, which debuted at the Paris Air Show this week.
Yep, it's got that big noisy rotor on top that permits vertical takeoff and landing. But when it comes time to kick it into gear, the Racer fires up its propellers to push it along at high speed, with stubby wings providing lift instead of relying on the main rotor.
Racer isn't just this chopper's name, it is also its mission: "Rapid And Cost-Effective Rotorcraft."
For efficiency, the Racer can even shut down one of its Rolls-Royce TurbomecaRTM322 turbine engines during flight. Unless, of course, you are flying along at the Racer's 250 mph cruising speed.
“This new project, pulling together the skills and know-how of dozens of European partners through the Clean Sky 2 initiative, aims to bring increased speed and range at the right cost, thanks to a simple, safe and proven aerodynamic formula," explained Guillaume Faury, Airbus Helicopters CEO.
It will pave the way for new time-sensitive services for 2030 and beyond, setting new benchmarks for high-speed helicopter transportation.”
Final assembly of the demonstrator is expected to start in 2019, with a first flight the next year.