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Aneto selected to power Racer high-speed helo demonstrator
Aneto. © Safran

Aneto selected to power Racer high-speed helo demonstrator

Airbus Helicopters has selected Safran’s new Aneto engine to power its Racer high-speed demonstrator, which aims to achieve a cruise speed of up to 400kph.

Racer. © Airbus Helicopters

Airbus Helicopters has selected Safran’s new Aneto engine to power its Racer (Rapid and Cost-Efficient Rotorcraft) high-speed demonstrator. Twin Aneto-1X engines will contribute significantly to the new rotorcraft’s cruise speed performance of up to 400kph.

Unveiled at the 2017 Paris Airshow, Racer is a technology demonstrator funded by the European Commission’s H2020 research programme, through the Clean Sky 2 initiative.

The 2,500shp Aneto-1X is one of a family of engines unveiled last October offering an exceptional power-to-volume ratio, resulting in 25% greater power than existing engines of the same volume. This is particluarly valuable for missions requiring more power (such as offshore transport, search and rescue, fire-fighting or military transport), as well as better performance in "hot and high" conditions.

The Racer will be the first rotorcraft to feature Safran's Power Pack Eco Mode configuration, whereby its engines exploit hybrid technologies to enable more efficient use of the power generated.

Developed in partnership with Safran Electrical & Power and the result of a study funded by France's DGAC civil aviation authority, the Power Pack Eco Mode configuration allows a pilot to "pause" one engine while in the cruise, generating fuel savings of around 15% and greater mission range.

Whenever needed (e.g. during acceleration, landing or autorotation), the idling engine is rapidly and automatically restored to full power using an innovative electric motor. Developed by Safran Electrical & Power, this motor is a high-power-density electric motor that satisfies the increased safety requirements.

The Power Pack Eco Mode concept has been validated in ground tests and will be flight-tested for the first time aboard the Racer.

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