Airbus Helicopters introduced its new PioneerLab flying laboratory during the German National Aviation Conference on Monday. According to the company, the helicopter demonstrator will be used to test technologies designed to reduce emissions, increase autonomy and integrate biomaterials. PioneerLab is based on the H145 twin-engine light utility helicopter.
“With PioneerLab, we continue our ambitious strategy to test and mature new technologies on board our helicopter demonstrators,” said Tomasz Krysinski, Airbus Helicopters head of research and innovation programs. “PioneerLab, which is based in Germany at our Donauwörth site, will be our platform to test technologies specifically dedicated to twin-engine helicopters.”
Alterations to PioneerLab will include a hybrid electric propulsion system and aerodynamic improvements as well as structural components constructed from bio-based and recycled materials. Airbus noted that flight tests have already begun with the testing of a rotor strike alerting system. PioneerLab joins the company’s Flightlab and DisruptiveLab demonstrators.