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Airbus' new copter concept has wings


If you want a helicopter to be faster and more efficient in forward flight, why not just give it some wings for added aerodynamic lift, and a set of propellers (aka lateral rotors) for forward thrust? That was the thinking behind the Eurocopter X3 demonstrator aircraft. This Tuesday at the Paris Air Show, Airbus Helicopters announced its plans to build on that concept, in the form of the code-named Rapid And Cost-Effective Rotorcraft – or Racer, for short.

The Airbus Racer will be optimized for a low acoustic signature, along with a cruising speed of over 400 km/h (249 mph) The Airbus Racer is being developed as part of Europe's multi-organization Clean Sky 2 initiative

Adding to the Airbus Racer's efficiency will be a lightweight hybrid metallic-composite airframe

Being developed as part of Europe's multi-organization Clean Sky 2 initiative, Racer is described as being "the best trade-off between speed, cost-efficiency, sustainability and mission performance."

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