Nov 14, 2020

Kawasaki’s K-Racer helicopter targets high speeds with H2R motor

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

It’s easy to forget that Kawasaki is much more than a motorcycle company. While its famously crazy motorcycles are certainly the most visible part of the brand outside Japan, Kawasaki Heavy Industries is a 124-year-old industrial colossus that brought in US$15 billion in revenues last year. Only $3.2 billion of that came from the motorcycle and engine division – a further $2.5 billion came in from energy systems and plant engineering, and $2.2 billion from precision machines and robotics.

The largest segment of the Kawasaki empire, contributing $4.6 billion, is its aerospace systems division. Kawasaki makes a small range of military and civilian helicopters, as well as large turbofan engines for various Airbus and Boeing airliners.

So this new K-Racer design is well within the company’s wheelhouse. The K-Racer is an unmanned compound helicopter – compound referring to the fact that it uses multiple propulsion systems. Its 4-m (13.1-ft) top rotor looks much like the one on any large helicopter, and it’s clearly capable of modifying the angle of its blades as they rotate around the central shaft to give it omnidirectional tilt and movement capabilities.

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