Perspective load capacity
Kawasaki Heavy Industries continues the development of the K-RACER (Kawasaki Researching Autonomic Compound to Exceed Rotorcraft) project, which was first announced in November 2020. The other day, the developer reminded himself again, saying that they are working tirelessly to promote the helicopter technology they have developed, working in tandem with a small powerful engine from the top-end Kawasaki Ninja H2R motorcycle. In particular, their ambition is to achieve a 200-kilogram carrying capacity of the vessel, which is inaccessible to standard rotary UAVs.
It is reported that as the first goal for entering the market, the developer envisions climbing cargo transportation. Then, step by step, they will conduct a demonstration of technologies that ensure the transport of a payload weighing 200 kg at an altitude of 3,000 meters. In particular, it is planned to develop a demonstration vehicle of the K-RACER-X1 transport type with a payload of 100 kg for operation at low altitudes, as well as to conduct technical test tests in order to quickly take into account the opinions of customers.
Then, the latest K-RACER-X2, which can carry a payload of 100 kg at an altitude of 3,000 meters, will be realized by applying the technology and know-how gained from the development of the K-RACER-X1 in mountainous areas. After testing aimed at verifying the transportation technology, the company will move on to the direct development of serial models with a payload of 200 kg.
The ultimate goal of Kawasaki Heavy Industries is to implement unmanned cargo transportation in tandem with wheeled delivery robots in the future.
About the K-RACER project
The K-RACER is a special type of testing machine called a compound helicopter with a 4 m diameter main rotor. There is no classic tail rotor, its role is performed by two motors located on the main wings. This approach allows you to neutralize the torque associated with the rotation of the main rotor, and create direct thrust. In addition, in upright flight, the main wing shares lift, reducing the load on the main rotor and enabling high-speed flight that cannot be achieved with conventional helicopter configurations. The test vehicle’s power plant was developed by Aerospace Systems, powered by a supercharged engine from a Kawasaki Ninja H2R motorcycle. Other features of the K-RACER were not disclosed.