Debuted earlier this week at the Paris Air Show is what Airbus hopes will be the future of helicopter transportation. Combining lightweight materials, a formidable power plant, and eco-friendly features, Airbus Helicopters’ RACER concept is set to boast high speed, cost efficiency, and serious performance all in one sleek package.
The concept, which stands for Rapid and Cost Effective Rotorcraft, will feature top cruising speeds of 248 mph and host Airbus’ innovative “box-wing” design that optimizes the aircraft for heightened aerodynamics during flight. Its lateral rotors and main rotor are set to be driven by two RTM322 engines while an “eco mode” will have the ability to start and stop one engine during flight to increase fuel savings while simultaneously enhancing the aircraft’s range. In addition, each RACER will be comprised of hybrid metallic composite materials reducing weight as well. Production is slated to begin at the beginning of 2019 with a first flight scheduled for the following year in 2020. No word on pricing just yet.