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Green Rotorcraft (GRC)


The use of helicopters has been concentrated until now on activities such as medical evacuation, rescue, civil protection, aerial work and law enforcement and such operations are expected to grow sharply in the near future. In addition, the rotorcraft traffic for passenger transport representing today only a marginal activity is expected to develop rapidly (2 to 3 fold increase in 2015-20 period). For example, helicopter shuttle operations from city heliports to airports, or even between cities without airports or connecting islands to mainland with limited ground infrastructure. In the meantime, thanks to their capability to operate independently from runways and higher speed compared to helicopters, tilt rotors are expected to play a key role as complement of turboprop airplanes feeding major airports with passengers starting from secondary ones.


As a consequence of such traffic growth, the rotorcraft contribution to environmental impact, negligible today, would become more significant in next decade unless a major initiative succeeds in keeping it under control.

The Green Rotorcraft ITD, a component of the Clean Sky initiative, together with other already launched technology programmes at European or national levels responds to the challenge of halving the specific impact of any rotorcraft operation on the environment. It should be noted that the results of some of those European programme launched in the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) will be raised to a higher maturity level within Clean Sky. 

Environmental Objectives

The Green RotorCraft ITD (GRC-ITD) gathers and structures all activities concerned specifically with the integration of technologies and demonstration on rotorcraft platforms (helicopters, tilt-rotor aircraft) which can not be performed in platform-generic ITDs. In line with the ACARE environmental objectives for 2020 (SRA2 addendum 2008) and the general Clean Sky objectives, the GRC top-level objectives are to:

  •  reduce CO2 emission by 25 to 40% per mission (for rotorcraft powered respectively by turboshaft or diesel engines);
  •  reduce the noise perceived on ground by 10 EPNdB or halving the noise footprint area by 50%;
  •  ensure full compliance with the REACH directive which protects human health and environment from harmful chemical substances.


The status of the global helicopter fleet in the year 2000 constitutes the baseline against which achievements will be assessed. Progress toward these goals will result not only from GRC internal activities but also from the collaboration with the relevant cross-cutting activities in SAGE (turboshaft engine), SGO (electrical systems), and ED (ecodesign). 

Rough orders of magnitude of gains expected from individual components along with the rationale for their combination in overall environmental benefits are shown in the diagram. Beside the direct effects, particular attention is devoted to weight changes which impact dramatically both fuel consumption and noise emission.



GRC 2015 Annual Report - Publishable Summary

GRC 2014 Annual Report - Publishable Summary

GRC 2013 Annual Report - Publishable Summary


GRC 1 - Main rotor blades

ACCUBLADE - Project Number: 338543

Low cost design approach through simulations and manufacture of new mould concepts for very high tolerance composite components 


AGF - Project Number: 298182

Active Guerny Flap


COMROTAG - Project Number: 619627

Development and Testing of Computational Methods to Simulate Helicopter Rotors with Active Gurney Flap 


DEMOS - Project Number: 338523

Design and Manufacturing of a pitch-Oscillating System for gurney flap testing 


GUM - Project Number: 298192

Active GUrney on Main rotor blade


LAMBLADE - Project Number: 267567

Development and proof a numerical model to solve laminar turbulent boundary layer transition and boundary layer velocity profiles for unsteady flow conditions


LEEToRB - Project Number: 325936

Lightweight, Energy-Efficient Tooling for the Manufacturing of Rotor Blades


MORALI - Project Number: 270629

Multi-Objective Robust Assessment of helicopter Improvements


MULTICOMPACT - Project Number: 255774

Multilayer Piezocomposites for Active Twist Rotor Blades


PT656 - Project Number: 278393

Gurney flap actuator and mechanism for a full scale helicopter rotor blade


GRC 2 - Airframe aerodynamic drag

 ADHERO - Project Number: 270563

Aerodynamic design optimisation of a helicopter fuselage including a rotating rotor head


ATHENAI - Project Number: 619819

Aerodynamic testing of helicopter novel air intakes


CODE-TILT - Project Number: 270609

Contribution to design optimisation of tiltrotor components for drag reduction


DREAM-TILT - Project Number: 336439

Assessment of tiltrotor fuselage drag reduction by wind tunnel tests and CFD


HEAVYCOPTER - Project Number: 278416

Contribution to optimisation of heavy helicopter engine installation design


ROD - Project Number: 325997

Rotorcraft drag reduction


TETRA - Project Number: 619949

Test of ERICA tiltrotor air intakes


TILTOP - Project Number: 267309

Efficient shape optimisation of intake and exhaust of a tiltrotor nacelle

GRC 3 - On-board electrical systems

 ELETAD - Project Number: 267322

Electrical tail rotor drive – simulation tools, test Rig and prototype development


PPSMPAB - Project Number: 271872

Piezo power supply module for piezo actuator bench


RECYCLE - Project Number: 267643

Thermal energy recovery electrical systems


REGENESYS - Project Number: 308129

Multi-source regenerative systems power conversion


RENERGISE - Project Number: 287076

Innovative management of energy recovery for reduction of electrical power consumption on fuel consumption


RETAX - Project Number: 296482

Efficient solution for rotorcraft electrical taxiing on ground, without rotor spinning


TESTHEMAS - Project Number: 325912

Design and implementation of a load simulator rig and ground test bench adaptation kit for a HEMAS test rig


SPLS - Project Number: 307727

Smart programmable load and source for more-electric aircraft testing.

GRC 4 - Installation of a diesel engine

 DELILAH - Project Number: 284848

Diesel engine matching the ideal light platform of the helicopter 

GRC 5 - Flight trajectories

 ANCORA - Project Number: 287094

Anotec-Comoti rotorcraft acoustics initiative for preliminary acoustic flight tests for the tuning of simplified rotorcraft noise models


CARE - Project Number: 325995

Curved applications for rotorcraft environmental enhancement


GARDEN - Project Number: 255886

GNSS-based ATM for rotorcraft to decrease noise IFR rotorcraft procedures


MAEM-RO - Project Number: 267492

Methodologies and applications of emission measurements on rotorcraft


MANOEUVRES - Project Number: 620068

Manoeuvring noise evaluation using validated rotor State estimation systems


TRAVEL - Project Number: 296648

Tiltrotor ATM integrated validation of environmental low noise procedures 

GRC 6 - Specific eco-design demonstrators

DEFCODOOR - Project Number: 287103

Development of an eco-friendly final consolidation step using thermoplastic fibre placement for a helicopter door


DISACOP - Project Number: 323420

Disassembly of eco-designed helicopter demonstrators


ECO-FAIRS - Project Number: 286576

ECO-design and manufacturing of thermoplastic structural fairings for helicopters


REMART - Project Number: 338531

Recycling of metallic materials from rotorcraft transmissions