This Is The Airbus RACER – The World's Fastest "Helicopter" To Be

Airbus RACER (Rapid And Cost-Effective Rotorcraft) was shown in 2017 as Airbus' effort to produce the fastest "helicopter" in the world. When it was still known as the X3 experimental aircraft, it held the record as the fastest helicopter with a speed of 472 km/h. After more than seven years of concept designs being shown off, the Airbus RACER finally made its first flight this week.

We say RACER is a "helicopter" because it is better categorized as a hybrid helicopter because it has a helicopter propeller and also two pusher propellers mounted on two small wings on the side of the aircraft. With this configuration RACER also does not need a fan on the tail.

When moving at high speed, the main fan speed will be reduced. The small wing will take over some of the lift assisted by the thrust of the two pusher engines. One of the engines that powers the pusher fan will also then be turned off to allow a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 25%.

Through RACER, Airbus not only wants to produce a helicopter that is faster but also more sustainable. The solution taken by Airbus is simpler than Boeing's Bell HSVTOL design which flies vertically like the V-22 Osprey before this propeller was seen and the aircraft then flies horizontally using jet engine power. HSVTOL is capable of flying faster with a target of over 700 km/h.

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