Clean Sky project completes carbon fiber canopy structure for RACER demonstrator

Coordinated by Airbus Helicopter, the canopy structure was designed and manufactured to optimize low aerodynamic drag and meet bird strike requirements.


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RACER carbon fiber canopy structure

Photo Credit: Clean Sky

The Fastcan consortium, consisting of Germany-based KLK Motorsport Gmbh and M&F Gerg GmbH, reported on Oct. 1 that the first complex composite component — the carbon fiber canopy structure — for Airbus Helicopter’s RACER (Rapid And Cost-Efficient Rotorcraft) technology demonstrator has now been successfully completed in Donauwörth, Germany. The front structure, including the canopy, is said to be a building block that will be used for the upcoming assembly of the RACER, which will take place in Donauwörth and Marignane, Germany. 

Since 2017, the consortium has been designing and manufacturing an economical, lightweight, safe and flight-worthy canopy structure for RACER, optimized for low aerodynamic drag and in accordance with bird strike requirements. Coordinated by Airbus Helicopters, the aircraft is built to transport people safely and sustainably, and designed to achieve the best possible trade-off between speed, cost efficiency, sustainability and effectiveness. Combining the vertical agility of a helicopter with the pace of a fixed-wing aircraft, the RACER demonstrator boasts a speed of more than 400 kilometers per hour. 

According to the consortium, the focus of the design of the cabin frame was the high integration of various single parts into one component to reduce weight and assembly times, resulting in a positive environmental impact. The design combines blow molding with monolithic and sandwich composite structures. 

Carried out since 2017 by FastCan, the project has received €1.5 million in Horizon 2020 funding under Clean Sky 2.