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Clean Aviation rotorcraft demonstrators will fly in mid-2023

Clean Aviation rotorcraft demonstrators will fly in mid-2023
Clean Aviation Next Generation Civil Tiltrotor (NextGenCTR) is based in the Leonardo AW609 tiltrotor

Within Clean Sky 2, the Clean Aviation rotorcraft demonstrators NextGenCTR and RACER, will take to skies by mid-2023.

These two Fast Rotorcraft Innovative Aircraft Demonstrator Platform (FRC-IADP), with two different architectures of fast rotorcraft, are being developed and will be tested in flight: the Next Generation Civil Tiltrotor (NextGenCTR) demonstrator and the Rapid And Cost Efficient Rotorcraft (RACER) compound demonstrator.

The two Clean Aviation rotorcraft demonstrators pioneer a new segment within the rotorcraft category, bringing completely new capabilities. With an increased «golden hour distance», these machines are specifically suitable for relevant missions such as search and rescue and medical emergency. In addition, they will enable communities with limited ground infrastructure to fly “faster and further”, supporting future European mobility objectives – of ultimately being able to travel between any two points in the EU within four hours.

The Annual Review Meeting (ARM) of the Clean Sky 2 Fast Rotorcraft Demonstrators (CS2 FRC IADP) on May 3, 5 and 6 2022 assessed the progress made on both demonstrators during 2021. The meeting was attended by CSJU representatives, FRC leaders and core partners.

Clean Aviation rotorcraft demonstrators will fly in mid-2023
Clean Aviation Rapid And Cost Efficient Rotorcraft (RACER) is based in the Airbus Helicopters H160

In 2021, the NGCTR technology demonstrator successfully finalised its Critical Design Reviews. The procurement of long lead time materials was launched while the manufacturing of major sub-systems (such as wing, tail) is ongoing. Finally, the assembly phase started in Q3/2021 with the delivery of the fuselage to the assembly line and installation of first avionics and harnesses. If the project continues to progress in this way, the first flight will take place in the second half of 2023.

The assembly of the RACER demonstrator officially started in March 2021 with the delivery of the central fuselage and continued to progress during 2021 with the integration of the helicopter canopy, the fuel system, the rotor-less tail and the wing-box airframe. Meanwhile, other important systems such as the doors, windshield and landing gears, as well as lateral propellers, were sent to Marignane for the next steps of the demonstrator assembly and testing on-ground to substantiate the permit to flight request. The first flight is expected to take off at the end of 2022.

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