Currently, helicopters are pretty cool in that they can take off and land on a dime and can hover while in the air. However, they are not very fast and are very loud. Airbus has a new concept for the helicopter that can help both of those issues. Called the Racer, this new design for the helicopter has one large main rotor on top like a normal helicopter, but also has pushing propellers on each side to push the helicopter forward and a set of small box wings to provide extra lift. With these new features, the helicopter will be able to fly at more than 250 mph while also being able to take off and land vertically like a normal helicopter.
Once the helicopter gets in the air, the side propellers start pushing forward, so the main rotors can slow down and the wings provide some lift. The twin engines are also behind the wings, isolating passengers from noise and vibration. In addition, the Racer doesn’t need a tail rotor. To compensate for torque, the side propellers can just spin at different speeds. The Racer can provide 50% more speed than a normal helicopter, yet at only 25% more cost, which means it saves operators 20% of their usual output per mile per passenger. It’s a very interesting, new design for the helicopter and I can’t wait to see it used.