Japan Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Germany’s Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm developed unmanned and Unconventional helicopter “K-RACER-IV”. The helicopter is designed to improve on the speed capabilities of conventional helicopters.
The conventional helicopter would require a tail rotor to counteract the torque generated by the main rotor. Alternatively, it would be without a tail rotor but would have a co-axial main rotor that creates counter torque. Kawasaki’s unique design features a conventional main rotor without a tail rotor. The design has a pair of stub wings with a forward-facing rotor on each wingtip. Together, the two forward-facing rotors fulfil the same duty of single tail rotor. The disadvantage of using two engines is overcome as the wings provides additional lift. The design is said to allow for higher top speeds than a conventional helicopter layout.
K-RACER stands for “Kawasaki Researching Autonomic Compound to Exceed Rotorcraft”, and Kawasaki plans to use lessons learned from this project to further develop VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft for various duties.