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AIRBUS RACER / Clean Sky2 LifeRCraft Demonstrator

Arjen

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If I am under the impression I am in a unique position to provide an answer to a question I will gladly do so. Like anybody asking about content of xxxxx-Putnam, or Air Enthusiast, because I have the lot. For the answer to your question, I would enter something like 'EU Clean Sky 2 Airbus Racer financial report' into my search engine of choice and inspect the results. Which is what I would advise you to do, as it is more likely to provide you with an answer to your question than your complaining about perceived incivility.

Or, to be blunt - do your own chores.
 

Arjen

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You already appear to have numbers on Racer cost - why bother me about them? A very cursory glance at my query results threw up a number 4 bn Euros for the entire Clean Sky 2 programme, which covers the Airbus Racer, the Leonardo Next Generation Civil Tiltrotor, ice protection as well as research into airliners with hybrid electric propulsion by ONERA, DLR and TU Delft. Racer appears to be stuffed with new materials/technology as is to be expected for a technology demonstrator. This obviously has a price tag, but multiple billions from a 4 billion aggregate programme - would you care to share the sources that support your multiple billion Racer cost?
Mine can be found here: https://www.cleansky.eu/clean-sky-2-budget
 

H_K

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Good interview with Tomasz Krysinski, head of R&D at Airbus. He talks about the Racer’s key advantages and design decisions - simple drivetrain, box wing, pusher props, and eco mode. First flight scheduled end of 2021:


Best parts are from ~13:00 to ~16:30.

At 190 knots we can stop one turbine and fly on only one turbine. It’s much more energy efficient to use one turbine at full power than two turbines at half power. At 190 knots, Racer uses 30% less fuel than a normal helicopter at 130 knots.

There’s another interview on the same website that talks about the X3 test program. The chief test pilot recalls that they hit 220 knots on only the 18th flight. He also talks about flying autonomously 1,300 miles from Texas to Washington DC during their US demo tour, stopping at small airports to refuel and zero maintenance issues... IMHO that’s a pretty impressive testament to the simplicity of the technology compared to the Bell & Sikorsky approaches to high speed.

EDIT: Also an in-depth article here that covers much of the same info:
 
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yasotay

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Unless Sikorsky can make the X-2 a viable civil rotorcraft, I think the X3 technology will do very well in the United States, especially with the oil and gas and emergency service segments.
 

TomS

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K-RACER: An acronym for Kawasaki Researching Autonomic Compound to Exceed Rotorcraft.
Doesn't seems so.

Notice the straight shaft.

Shaft straight or not. I would think Airbus has patented this kind of compound helo configuration.

The general arrangement of top rotor and two props is hardly original to Airbus. See the Fairey Gyrodyne, for example.
 

VTOLicious

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Indeed! ...However, I recall to have seen an Airbus patent somewhere. But I don't remember exactly the claims.
 

TomS

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Indeed! ...However, I recall to have seen an Airbus patent somewhere. But I don't remember exactly the claims.

OH, I'm sure they have patented some specific implementation, and might well have made some overbroad claims. But prior art wins...
 

H_K

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Here’s the first detailed view of the Racer that I’ve seen... from a CleanSky event.

It shows what looks like a SAR configuration, with an internal hoist that swings out. The cabin looks rather small for that mission, more like H135 size. Certainly smaller than H145 or H160. Maybe 6 pax or 4 VIPs?

So perhaps this will be a smaller/lighter helicopter than many were thinking.
 

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VTOLicious

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Here’s the first detailed view of the Racer that I’ve seen... from a CleanSky event.

It shows what looks like a SAR configuration, with an internal hoist that swings out. The cabin looks rather small for that mission, more like H135 size. Certainly smaller than H145 or H160. Maybe 6 pax or 4 VIPs?

So perhaps this will be a smaller/lighter helicopter than many were thinking.
You are right, the cabin looks rather small... Here is another Airbus slide, hinting EMS/SAR as one of the primary missions.
 

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yasotay

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Here’s the first detailed view of the Racer that I’ve seen... from a CleanSky event.

It shows what looks like a SAR configuration, with an internal hoist that swings out. The cabin looks rather small for that mission, more like H135 size. Certainly smaller than H145 or H160. Maybe 6 pax or 4 VIPs?

So perhaps this will be a smaller/lighter helicopter than many were thinking.
You are right, the cabin looks rather small... Here is another Airbus slide, hinting EMS/SAR as one of the primary missions.
Perhaps they are going to try a medical rotorcraft first to test the market interest before going to larger aircraft. There is also the chance that the picture was of an earlier configuration that was explored (not wanting to show off certain aspects of the current air vehicle), but not considered for development.
Also thank you H_K for the link to Clean Sky.
 
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TomcatViP

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I think you are looking too much in it. There is no more mystery than an architect building you a 90% scaled house of what was offered to save on material and manpower cost.

There is also the draw on the power available from the twin pusher rotor. Think that torque systems can eat away 10 to 15 % of engine available. Here you have twice the power requested in a cumbersome angled arrangement. Add also the extra drag of the wing sets (penalizing both on downwash, drag as weight induced drag) and you have a tiny platform left to find a function.
 

H_K

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@TomcatViP I don’t understand what you’re saying, from a physics perspective.

1) Why would this require twice the torque? (Torque is a function of main rotor power, not the # of anti torque devices)
2) Doesn’t a wing also create lift, which more than offsets drag (by definition)?

I see this rather the opposite... this looks like a very aerodynamically efficient arrangement, offering improved lift/drag both at normal cruise speeds and fast cruise speeds that normal helicopters can’t achieve. The only question is the extra installed weight - specifically how much of the performance and efficiency gains are cancelled out by the weight increase.
 

TomcatViP

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My dear @H_K, lift offset weight. Power, drag.
I would invite you to re-read your high-school point mechanics cursus. Everything is there to grab the concepts more than intuitively.

I would agree however that "twice" sounds erroneous. My intended meaning was more double, two time etc...and was not quantitative.
 
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TomcatViP

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Expect some delays:
Airbus Helicopters is pushing off the first flight of its compound Racer—which stands for rapid and cost-efficient rotorcraft—to 2022. A company spokesman said the delay was the result of “the slowdown of several production lines caused by the pandemic.”

When initially announced in 2017, Airbus said Racer would begin flights in 2020.
 

H_K

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Airbus Racer slowly starting to take shape:

Fuselage from Romania.
Cockpit section from Germany.
Doors from Austria.

Assembly expected to be complete « mid 2021 » with a first flight by « summer 2022 », roughly 18 months behind schedule.

Capacity stated as « 8 to 11 people », which I believe must include aircrew given the smallish size.
 

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H_K

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Latest update on the Racer here:

Interesting tidbits:
- The rotor blades are from the H175
- 6 to 8 seat executive configuration (so I guess 3 rows, 2-2-2 or 3-2-3?)

- 400nm range

All of which hints at a somewhat larger aircraft than what I was expecting (which was more of an H145- or H160-sized cabin).
 
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RavenOne

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It’s taking shape

 

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TomcatViP

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Notice they didn't even optimize the under floor structure (compare those to the roof mounted structure), probably to help keeping the CG low (those beams looks even massive)...

170b1ceb-08a0-4657-80e9-0d492bb7e2b2-jpeg.655055


Refined would wait a little bit longer... (adapted).
 

coanda

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Those are just spaces for the fuel tanks. I presume that the volumes are going to be filled with bladder type fuel tanks. There are stiffener networks on the outside of those bulkheads, visible through the lower side access panels.

Quite like what I'm seeing so far.
 

H_K

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I also remember reading that Racer needs a taller fuselage profile than normal in order to keep the propellers off the ground and away from the main rotor disc.

As a result there is an incentive to go with a “tall & narrow” fuselage (instead of “short & wide”), with a high underfloor to fit the fuel tanks and landing gear.
 

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coanda

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Often times the fuel tanks in helicopters are in the floor beam spaces. You'd hope that the thicker floors should offset the narrower cabin
 

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