In comparison with airplanes, helicopters fly rather slowly, having as an indisputable advantage the possibility of landing and taking off practically from any surface. Airbus is going to combine the merits of both solutions in its new project. The new Racer should reach a speed of around 400 km / h and is equipped with three screws: two vertical and one horizontal.
The presentation of the Racer (Rapid And Cost-Effective Rotorcraft), capable of flying at a cruising speed of about 400 km / h, took place at the recent Paris Air Show. Most of the current helicopters have a cruising speed in the region of 200-300 km / h, with the exception of some military models.
The new concept of Airbus was named: “Boxwing-Design” and consists of two short wings in the shape of a triangle, each of which has a vertical screw that provides horizontal thrust. All three screws are driven by two Safran RTM322 engines. To compensate for the torque from the vertical screw in this model, there is no need to use an additional tail screw; compensation occurs due to different thrust of the side screws. Current plans - the complete assembly of the helicopter by 2020, the first flight - a year later.
Back in 2010, Airbus introduced a helicopter with two side screws - Eurocopter X3. On June 7, 2013, the X3 reached a speed of 472 km / h, setting a new speed record for horizontal flight. In a dive, he was able to reach a speed of 487 km / h. This model used the body from Eurocopter AS 365 Dauphin five-blade screw from EC 155.
The difference from the "normal" helicopter is also that the forward thrust occurs not due to the inclination of the plane of rotation of the screw, but due to the control of the speed of rotation. During horizontal flight at speeds greater than 60 knots, the horizontal propeller's plane of rotation has zero inclination (0 degrees), at high flight speeds, the rotational speed of the horizontal propeller decreases so that the speed of the blades does not exceed the speed of sound, which is the limiting factor for the helicopter.
The main parameters of X3:
- 5-blade lifting screw and two horizontal screws
- capacity: pilot and copilot
- max. speed: 472 km / h
- cruising speed of 407 km / h (300 km / h at 80% power)
- lifting speed: 2133 m / min (7000 ft / min)
- practical ceiling: 3810 m
On the Racer, the side screws are slightly shifted back to reduce the noise level in the helicopter cabin. It is planned to use the helicopter for doctors, search and rescue services, and for commercial aviation.
→ Official video
→ Press release