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First complex fiber composite component enables light and safe canopy structure for RACER

News International-French

21 Oct 2020

It is over 400 km/h fast and built to transport people safely and sustainably: The RACER ("Rapid And Cost-Efficient Rotorcraft"), an innovative high-speed technology demonstrator, is designed to achieve the best possible trade-off between speed, cost efficiency, sustainability and effectiveness.

First complex fiber composite component enables light and safe canopy structure for RACER
The FASTCAN consortium, consisting of KLK Motorsport GmbH and M&F Gerg GmbH, set out to design and manufacture an economical, lightweight, safe and flightworthy canopy structure for RACER, optimised for low aerodynamic drag and in accordance with bird strike requirements.

In Donauwörth, the first complex carbon fibre composite component for RACER has now been successfully completed. The front structure, including the canopy, is a building block which will be used for the upcoming assembly of the RACER, which will take place in Donauwörth and Marignane. The RACER demonstrator, which combines the vertical agility of a helicopter with the pace of a fixed-wing aircraft, is coordinated by Airbus Helicopters.

The focus of the design of the cabin frame was the high integration of various single parts into one lone component to reduce weight and cost assembly times resulting in a positive environmental impact.

The design includes a blow molding manufacturing, with monolithic and sandwich structures together. Bird impact resistant design and a cost-optimised tool design are another part of the modern construction.

New ideas are also tested on the development side, as only 3D design data was used and no drawing derivations had to be created.

The detailed design, layout and manufacturing of the cabin frame has been carried out since the beginning of 2017 by FastCan. The project has received €1.5m in Horizon 2020 funding under Clean Sky 2.