Airbus Helicopters Begins In-Flight Testing Of New Technologies Using Flightlab Platform

Airbus recently announced that in-flight tests of Airbus Helicopters’ Flightlab “flying laboratory” have begun. The test bed is used to evaluate technologies that the company could implement in helicopters, fixed aircraft, and future eVTOL platforms. (Photo courtesy of Airbus.)

In-flight tests have begun on Airbus Helicopters Flightlab “platform-agnostic flying laboratory” to test maturing new technologies. Flightlab will evaluate technologies that could appear later in some form in Airbus helicopters and fixed-winged aircraft, as well as in eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft.

Future Flight A Step Closer

Airbus Helicopters will use Flightlab to test hybrid and electric propulsion technologies, explore autonomy, and test other technologies aimed at reducing helicopter sound levels and improving maintenance and flight safety.

“Having a dedicated platform to test these new technologies brings the future of flight a step closer and is a clear reflection of our priorities at Airbus Helicopters,” says Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even.

Flight tests with the demonstrator that began in April have indicated buildings play a key role in masking or amplifying sound levels, Airbus says. The tests will be key to sound modelling and regulation-setting efforts, particularly for Urban Air Mobility (UAM) initiatives. Testing in December focused on a Rotor Strike Alerting System (RSAS). Tests this year will center on an image-detection solution, dedicated Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS), and an Engine Back-up System. Next year, Airbus Helicopters will evaluate a new ergonomic design of pilot flight controls, which could be potentially suitable for future VTOL applications.

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Source: Airbus

Posted On: 1/26/2021 2:37:51 PM