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Fast Rotorcraft

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - GAM-2020-FRC (Fast Rotorcraft)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2021-12-31

The Fast Rotorcraft IADP of Clean Sky 2 consists of two separate demonstrators, the NextGenCTR Tiltrotor and the RACER compound helicopter.
• The NGCTR Technology Temonstrator (WP1) held the Critical Design Review closure leading to the formal sign-off of all outstanding actions identified at the Aircraft Critical Design Review Entry (CDR) in December 2020. Detailed design progressed towards release of design definition for manufacture.The NGCTR-TD donor structure (new build) was manufactured and released to allow the completion of out-of-jig modification to accommodate revised major structural attachments leading to the Final Assembly phase, started late 2021.
• The completion and delivery of the RACER central fuselage paved the way to the demonstrator assembly which started in April 2021, in the Airbus Helicopters Deutchland premises. After the integration of the nose, the canopy and the fuel system, the RACER demonstrator has been transferred to Airbus Helicopters France to continue its lay-up phase. All along 2021, major subsystems were finalized and delivered such as the main landing gears, the Rotorless tail, the cowlings, the doors and the wings , allowing the assembly of the whole fuselage from nose to tail. The Main Gear Box Critical Design Review was closed in 2021, ensuring the delivery of all drawings and the start of long lead-time items manufacturing, to prepare delivery of hardwares in 2022. Key ground tests benches were also run (e.g. lateral shaft fatigue test , systems integration rig, Fuel system leakage test on demonstrator ).
NextGenCTR (WP1):

• Management, coordination and design integration: Aircraft level CDR outstanding actions were closed in September 2021, allowing major interfaces between sub-systems to be frozen. Liaison with the airworthiness authorities progressed, including trilateral meetings between LDO, ENAC and EASA. Aircraft sub-system flight clearance plans were discussed.
• Tiltrotor system design: Flight control system models were updated and parameters in all flight conditions verified. Rotor limit and fatigue design loads were confirmed, along with airframe flight and ground loads.
• Transmissions systems: The Transmissions sub-system CDR was completed.
• Rotors systems: Detailed design related to new Rotor System components; Fixed Swashplate and Swashplate Support, Gimbal Ring and Extended Collective Tube Assembly, were released. Kinematic analyses of the rotor system were completed.
• Airframe structures: The structures design was finalized and test plans issued. Structures qualification plan to support the permit to fly was updated. The T-WING consortium successfully completed wing, movable surfaces and Nacelle CDRs.
• Electrical and avionic systems: The electrical systems aircraft equipment installations were frozen, the wiring diagrams completed. Cable assembly preliminary manufacture tasks progressed aligned to the build sequence/schedule.
Flight control system models were developed and control laws were refined.
• Airframe Systems: Fuel system development progressed with DIGIFUEL and DEFENDER consortia, working closely with T-WING to ensure all interfaces were clear and agreed. Fuel tank manufacture started and initial physical tests were performed.
• Technology Demonstrator Manufacture and Assembly: Donor fuselage was completed in the out-of-jig stage and shipped to Final Assy Line for NGCTR specific modifications to be installed; Long lead-time bought out component manufacture was launched with the release of the related technical specifications for delivery.
• Airframe test and Demonstration: Requirements for instrumentation were finalized and the architecture confirmed.


The progress on the RACER demonstrator project is given along the four multifunctional Technology Areas. In 2021, the focus was on the sub-system manufacturing and on the start of the demonstrator assembly.
• RACER flight demonstrator integration: Activities in 2021 were mainly focused toward the manufacturing of sub-systems and assembly of the Demonstrator. Major sub-system deliveries (e.g. Fuselage, tail, wings, firewall, landing gears …) has permitted to finalize the assembly of the fuselage from nose to tail.
• RACER airframe integration: The manufacturing of the central fuselage structure was completed early 2021 triggering the start of the demonstrator assembly. The central fuselage was then equipped with the nose, the canopy, the fuel system, the firewalls and the Rotorless tail which was completed and delivered in October 2021. The reception of the cowlings, the windows, the doors and the upper and lower wings were completing the structural parts delivery of 2021.
• RACER dynamic assembly integration the design of the Main Gear Box has been frozen in 2021 with the closure of the Critical Design Review and all long lead-time items manufacturing were launched (e.g. Main and Lateral Gear Boxes castings, the pinions, the bearings …). The Lateral Gear Boxes Mock-ups, used to allow both in parallel the manufacturing of the gear box parts and the RACER demonstrator assembly, was completed. T
• RACER On-board System Integration: On Electrical Generation Distribution System (EGDS), the architecture and final solution has been frozen. Thanks to EGDS bench with representative equipment, an important test campaign has been launched and is still ongoing to validate and verify the specified functions and equipment. Concerning Electrical Wiring Interconnection System (EWIS), continuous efforts were made to freeze the electrical system drawings allowing to launch the manufacturing of the RACER harnesses with our partner, which were partly delivered in 2021. Some of the harnesses delivered to prototype shop have been installed on the H/C with their corresponding supports. Avionics system integration rig bench was extensively continued in 2021, with the complete avionic suite (Helionix).

Eco-design (WP3)

The activity was focused on the definition or the confirmation of major ECO FlagShip Demonstrators and their associated Masterplans for RACER and NGCTR. To secure those activities, Implementation Agreements were set-up between the FRC leaders and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (Signed between LH and FHG) and additional budget was granted in the 2021 GAM amendment.
Specifically to NGCTR Activities was focused on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and environmental analyses.

Technology Evaluator (WP4)

Close collaboration and engagement between FRC and the TE led to the agreement on methodologies for assessing the Conceptual vehicles toward the TE 2nd Assessment. New reference helicopters were added for comparison of RACER and NGCTR performance. LH and AH agreed about common approach of synchronizing the contents of presentation on TE results for both demonstrators.
The impact, in terms of CS2 goals, of each enabling technology was calculated, presented and delivered in the Technology Impact document.
The aim of the two platforms is to provide more speed, longer range, more productivity to fill the gap between conventional helicopters and other fixed-wing platforms. CS2 will demonstrate how these configurations will provide new and more effective services to citizens.
NGCTR Aircraft Digital Mock-up at CDR level
RACER demonstrator at end 2021