• Programme: Horizon 2020, Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking
  • Funding amount 1.2 million euros, of which 500,000 euros for Bavaria
  • Funding period: 06/2020-05/2023
  • Coordinator: Dr Christian Haigermoser and Katharina Kreitz, Vectoflow GmbH
  • Project number: 886057

Innovative aerodynamic measuring instrumentation for the new Airbus helicopter prototype RACER

For years, aircraft manufacturers have been looking for innovative aviation concepts and technologies to incorporate in their products to significantly reduce operating costs and CO2 emissions which are harmful to the environment. To this end, the EU project SMART-FTI is developing innovative aerodynamic measuring instrumentation for the new helicopter RACER from Airbus.

In December 2019 the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) predicted a doubling of passenger numbers over the next twenty years. This is not good news for climate researchers, because even if this development is slowed down by the coronavirus pandemic, it also means an increase in CO2 emissions. Because the European Commission wants to reduce CO2 emissions by 75 per cent by 2050 compared to the year 2000, the aviation industry urgently requires innovation in this area.

Potential for fuel savings and noise reduction in aviation

Comprehensive research into the field of aerodynamics or aerodynamic phenomena such as pressure, air speed and temperature are necessary for the development of new aviation concepts up to series production readiness. The EU project SMART-FTI (Surface Module Approach for Rapid Testing in Flight Test Instrumentation), part of Clean Sky 2 under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation, is developing a complete aerodynamic measurement solution for flight testing to find potential for fuel saving and noise reduction in aircraft.

Strengthening innovation in European aviation

The measuring instruments are being developed by three companies from Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom using the helicopter prototype RACER from Airbus. The coordinator is the Bavarian company Vectoflow from Germany, which is specialized in customized flow measurement technology.
RACER (Rapid and Cost-Effective Rotorcraft) is a high-speed and long-range helicopter with a new design approach: lift-generating wings, side rotors and a slowly rotating main rotor combine to enable an astonishing travel speed of 370 km/h.

Air resistance is one of the main factors for increased fuel consumption

At high flight speeds, air resistance becomes one of the main factors for increasing fuel consumption, while the interaction of flow and structure is a key factor in respect of noise intensity. In order to reduce fuel consumption and noise, aerodynamic and aeroelastic measurements, such as air pressure or temperature, must be taken first. This measuring technology needs not only be as small and light as possible, but also to be stable and resistant to temperature. Only in this way will the measurement results become truly accurate and meaningful. The overall objective is the development of the RACER and thus the strengthening of the innovation of European aviation.


  • Intensive application support
  • Tandem consulting carried out by our SME Advisory Services and ICT, Engineering & Natural Sciences Units


Katharina Kreitz

Katharina Kreitz
Vectoflow GmbH Management Board
Phone: +49 (0)89 124149570

Thomas Decker

Thomas Decker
Business Development Manager Vectoflow GmbH
Phone: +49 89 124149570

Contact at BayFOR

Dipl.-Ing. Dan Gutu

Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Dan Gutu
Scientific Officer Information & Communication Technologies |
Engineering & Natural Sciences
Phone: +49 89 9901888-136

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