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Project FRCDoorsDemonstrator is one of many sub-assembly projects contributing to the overall CleanSky2 goals of development, manufacturing, flightworthy certification and first flight demonstration of RACER – the Rapid and Cost-Effective Rotorcraft.

RACER is an experimental high-speed compound helicopter developed by Airbus Helicopters. Revealed at the June 2017 Paris air show, cruising speed of RACER is expected to reach 400 km/h (216 kn) and it aims for a 25% cost reduction per distance over a conventional helicopter.

The main goal of the FRCDoorDemonstrator consortium was to design, develop, and manufacture all doors for RACER in a lightweight manner considering relevant requirements such as minimum weight, highest tolerances and aeronautic quality. The doors developed and manufactured in the project are the following: left-side pilot door, mirrored, right-side co-pilot door, lateral sliding cabin-door including door frame, lateral small-size luggage door and back-side avionic door.

All doors have been manufactured using CFRP manufacturing technologies using a maximum of lightweight CFRP plus sandwich materials and a minimum of metal materials. Result of the project are fully functional doors fully compliant with Airbus Helicopters technical specifications, ready for assembly to RACER and ready for first flight tests in 2022.

The comparison of the weight values shows that four of the doors reach a weight saving of >32% when being compared to full metal / Aluminium solutions. In this way the set objective of project FRCDoorDemonstrator with 25% weight saving has been achieved successfully for all the door systems.

Project FRCDoorDemonstrator was coordinated by LKR Leichtmetallkompetenzzentrum Ranshofen GmbH, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology. CI Composite Impulse GmbH & Co had the technological lead for design, development, manufacturing and final assembly of the five RACER demonstrator doors.

The project has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 687160.


Sliding cabin door, cockpit door, luggage door and avionic door