European OEMs Partner on Green Rotorcraft
Two European helicopter manufacturers, Eurocopter and AgustaWestland, are the coleaders of the Green Rotorcraft research program in the European Commission’s Clean Sky joint technology initiative, which was launched in Brussels on February 5. The aim of Green Rotorcraft is to reduce the impact on the environment in all phases of the lifecycle of a rotorcraft, from manufacturing to operation and eventually disposal. For example, the group will study a smart main rotor blade that will incorporate an active control system for vibration and noise. It will also study the possibility of driving the tail rotor electrically. The final phase of the project will be flight tests in 2012 and 2013. The €1.6 billion ($2.3 billion) Clean Sky initiative encompasses a number of aeronautical topics.