Airbus unveils DisruptiveLab to test aerodynamic architecture, CO2 reduction
November 30, 2022 By Wings Staff
Airbus on November 30 unveiled its DisruptiveLab demonstrator aircraft, a flying laboratory designed to test technologies under development by the aerospace company to improve aircraft performance and to also reduce the CO2 emissions of its helicopters.
DisruptiveLab will initially be used to evaluate a new aerodynamic architecture intended to reduce fuel consumption, as well as a fully parallel hybrid propulsion system that enables the battery to be recharged in-flight. Airbus expects to begin flying the demonstrator before the end of 2022
“The innovative architecture and the fully parallel hybrid propulsion system could only really be tested on a brand new demonstrator in order to verify the combined impact in CO2 reduction, which could be as much as 50 per cent,” said Bruno Even, CEO, Airbus Helicopters.
The new architecture of the DisruptiveLab, explains Airbus, features an aerodynamic aluminium and composite fuselage, specifically designed to reduce drag and thus reduce fuel consumption. The blades are integrated into the rotor in a way that allows for a more compact rotor head, which reduces drag and, therefore, improves energy efficiency while lowering the perceived noise level. The demonstrator also features a lighter rear fuselage that incorporates a streamlined Fenestron tail rotor that contributes to improved performance.
Airbus started work on its first demonstrator, FlightLab, in 2020, which uses an existing H130 platform. FlightLab is mainly dedicated to researching and developing technologies related to enhanced autonomy and safety technobricks. DisruptiveLab, however, will focus on improving aircraft performance and reducing environmental footprint.