Nothing delights racing fans more than the thrill of the chase and expert handling of engineering marvels. Here we see two innovative crafts duke it out at the Circuit Paul Ricard track in France. The track was seet abuzz by an Airbus Corporate Helicopters’ ACH160 and a Renault F1 Team race car.
No specifics were given of the Renault but it looks to be a mix of the 2017 and 2018 cars based on the airbox, shark fin engine cover and the barge board design.
The chase at Paul Ricard was to demonstrate the perfect combination of design, precision, innovation and agility as car and rotorcraft follow the flow of the circuit’s stunning blue lines. The Renault was piloted by team driver, Daniel Ricciardo, while the ACH160 by experienced experimental test pilot Olivier Gensse.
The ACH160 is the premium version of the Airbus H160 helicopter, which is the most technologically advanced helicopter in its class. The H160 integrates Airbus Helicopters’ latest technological innovations, including breakthrough safety features with Helionix’s accrued pilot assistance and automated features as well as flight envelope protection.
The cockpit has been designed with simplicity in mind to reduce distractions for the pilot, bringing only the necessary information to the pilot’s attention when he or she needs it. The H160 also features a new autopilot function that allows the helicopter to fly almost autonomously and reduces the risk of human error.
The helicopter also provides passengers with superior comfort thanks to the sound-reducing Blue Edge blades and superb external visibility that benefits both passengers and pilots. Furthermore, the H160 is one of the most environmentally friendly helicopters in terms of fuel consumption, and also one of the quietest helicopters in its class. It is powered by two Safran Arrano engines capable of 955 kW of take-off power, and flies up to 880 km on its standard fuel tank.
The H160 was granted its type certification by EASA in July 2020, with FAA certification to follow later this year. The design of the H160 makes it suitable for a wide range of versatile missions, such as private and business aviation, offshore transportation, emergency medical services. Delivery is expected to commence in 2021. Thus far, Airbus has received ACH160 orders from eight countries across North America, Latin America, Europe, China and South-East Asia.