Airbus Helicopters' Racer to meet 2021 deadline despite delays

Airbus has reported its compound helicopter, Racer, a high-speed technology demonstrator, is on track to meet a first flight deadline in 2021, following a delay in some development items, the company said.

Under the company´s previous schedule, the Racer was due to perform its maiden sortie in 2020.

Part of the EU´s Clean Sky 2 programme, the Racer design features twin pusher propellers mounted on V-shaped box-wings.

Under Clean Sky rules, demonstrator aircraft funded by the programme can only be taken to technology readiness level 6 — short of full industrialisation.

The Racer will be powered by twin Safran Helicopter Engines Aneto-1X powerplants, one of which can be shut down — and rapidly restarted — in forward flight to cut fuel consumption. This will allow the helicopter to meet ambitious environmental targets, which require 20% lower emissions of CO2 and NOx.