Airbus is looking to make a cost-effective, yet fast way to fly through the sky with the new Racer concept.
“Seventy years ago, [American test pilot] Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier,” said Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, at the Racer announcement press conference. Now, he said, “we’re trying to break the cost barrier. It cannot be ‘speed at any cost.’”
The Racer (stands for Rapid and cost-effective rotorcraft) uses a main rotor for basic flight modes, while two lateral pusher rotors provide forward thrust. The lateral pusher rotors are installed on the back of a box-wing, reducing power required for flight by 10 percent. This reduction in required power also lowers fuel consumption, and increase the Racer’s flight range. All-in-all, the Racer will be surprisingly cheap to fly.
Airbus is planning the final assembly of the Racer demonstrator in 2019, with its first flight in 2020.