Emergency workers and the obscenely rich love helicopters, and for good reason. Unlike airplanes, whirlybirds can take off and land almost anywhere, making them just the thing for tight spots and urban areas. The drawback, though, is speed. Choppers are slow.
While Gulfstream’s G650 private jet streaks along at north of 600 mph, conventional choppers like the police or your local traffic reporter might use maxes out around 160 mph. Quick, but not that quick when talking about flight. Airbus thinks it found a way of closing the speed gap without sacrificing a helicopter’s inherent advantages: add wings and props to create an aircraft that can take off and land vertically, hover, and cruise at a heady 250 mph. Airbus calls it the Racer, for Rapid and Cost-Effective Rotorcraft.
You just know it came up with the name first, then found the words to make it work.