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    NEWS | Airbus Helicopters Racer

    FURADO Rotor Head for RACER Demonstrator

    Racer, a compound rotorcraft demonstrator developed under the lead of Airbus in the framework of Europe Clean Sky 2 Joint Technology Initiative, will have an aerodynamic and sustainable rotor head developed by FURADO (Full Fairing Rotor Head Aerodynamic Design Optimisation) project

    * Project FURADO was performed by Technical University of Munich (TUM) supported by Airbus Helicopters SAS (Marignane, France) and Airbus Helicopters Germany (Donauwörth)


    FURADO Rotor Head for RACER Demonstrator

    CleanSky, June 29, 2020 - The RACER (Rapid and Cost-Effective Rotorcraft) demonstrator is combining the best of fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft to develop a new configuration of helicopter that will enable fast and efficient forward flight while enabling vertical take-off and landing. Not only that, but the speed and versatility gains will be complemented by cost-efficiency and sustainability attributes.

    ‘A major aspect of the challenge was to reconcile the environmental targets – to reduce CO2 by 20%, NOx by 20% and noise by 20%. Considering the complexity of the defined architecture, this means having to integrate new techno-bricks, lighter materials and innovative design solutions,’ says Clean Sky 2’s FRC project officer, Antonello Marino.

    One of the key challenges involved in developing RACER is aerodynamic efficiency. The high cruising speed of RACER gives rise to technical obstacles in this area, and that’s where Full Fairing Rotor Head Aerodynamic Design Optimisation (FURADO) project comes in. FURADO is focused on optimising the aerodynamic design and thermal flow analysis of a semi-watertight full fairing rotor head for RACER while reducing drag.

    The first step in the project was to produce a tool that allowed for a fully automated aerodynamic shape development by using Computational fluid dynamics CFD simulations for the evaluation of objective functions. This tool enabled the project to optimise the shape of rotor head fairings to achieve maximum versatility and speed while respecting the environmental constraints. Promising shapes that reduced drag were selected to be investigated in more detail and compared to the current RACER blade-sleeve fairing.

    FURADO successfully reduced drag by 5% and increased lift by 24% on the isolated rotor head, meaning full speed ahead for this contributor to RACER!

    Finally, an aerothermal risk assessment was performed for the newly developed RACER rotor head fairings, so as to ensure a long-life operability of the techno brick.

    FURADO project is a complementary Grant to the FRC-IADP.

    Activities were performed by Technical University of Munich supported by Airbus Helicopters SAS and Airbus Helicopters Germany. The project ended on 29 February 2020 and its budget was €399 000.

    A Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of the isolated rotor head showing the vortical flow structures

    Developed from the X3 demonstrator, the RACER (Rapid And Cost-Effective Rotorcraft) is planned to perform first flight next year

    This article is listed in :
    Airbus Helicopters Racer
    TU Munich
    Airbus Marignane Airbus Helicopters France
    Airbus Helicopters Inc
    Airbus Helicopters Germany Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH     Airbus Helicopters Germany




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