At its annual summit on Wednesday, Airbus unveiled its “DisruptiveLab”, described as “a new flying laboratory designed to test technologies destined to improve aircraft performance and to reduce helicopters’ CO2 emissions”.
The DisruptiveLab will, the French manufacturer announced, soon take to the skies to “evaluate a new aerodynamic architecture intended to reduce fuel consumption, as well as pursuing the implementation of hybridisation with a fully parallel hybrid propulsion system that enables the battery to be recharged in-flight.”
Airbus Helicopters chief executive Bruno Even said the airborne lab “goes another step further” with plans to diminish the environmental impact of its helicopters and to lead the way towards a sustainable aerospace industry”.
Earlier, Airbus and ArianeGroup, a joint venture owned by Airbus and Safran and a “world leader” in space propulsion technologies, pledged to “work together” and build by 2025 what labelled “the first liquid hydrogen refuelling facility for ZEROe aircraft”, at Toulouse Blagnac airport.
Airbus recently said it was working on developing a hydrogen-powered engine for aircraft, which it hopes to test by the middle of the decade and have ready for production by 2035 – plans it flagged again during its summit this week.