Airbus Helicopters (Booth N1915) has selected Safran's Aneto engine to power its Rapid and Cost-Efficient Rotorcraft (Racer) high-speed compound helicopter demonstrator. The Racer will be powered by two 2,500-shp Aneto-1X engines, a family of engines unveiled by Safran (Booth C4743) in October.
The Racer is funded by the European Commission's H2020 research program, as part of the Clean Sky 2 initiative. The 2,500-hp Aneto-1X engine is 25 percent more powerful than existing engines with the same footprint, according to Safran, helping to increase helicopter capabilities during missions requiring more power such as offshore transport, search and rescue, firefighting, and hot and high performance, the company said.
The Racer will be the first helicopter to have the Safran Power Pack Eco Mode configuration, which incorporates hybrid propulsion technologies that allow better energy management. Developed in partnership with Safran Electrical & Power and the result of a study financed by France's General Directorate of Civil Aviation (GDAC), the Power Pack Eco Mode configuration allows the pilot to put one of the two engines on standby during cruise flight, reducing fuel consumption by around 15 percent. When necessary—for acceleration, landing or emergency maneuvers—the standby engine is quickly and automatically reactivated to its maximum power, thanks to a new type of electric motor designed by Safran Electrical & Power.
"Aneto will help us achieve the ambitious environmental and performance goals set out in this European research program, thanks in particular to Eco Mode," said Airbus Helicopters research and innovation director Tomasz Krysinski. "This will be a key element of the Racer, which will bring together technologies from a network of more than 25 industry, academia and research centers in Europe, and will make a significant and lasting contribution to the competitiveness of the European aviation industry."