Image

Airbus to test advanced autonomous features on helicopter Flightlab

1 June 2021

Airbus is introducing autonomous features to its helicopter Flightlab through a project code-named Vertex. These technologies aim to simplify mission preparation and management, reduce helicopter pilot workload, and further increase safety.

The autonomous technology bricks set to integrate the Flightlab are: vision based sensors and algorithms for situational awareness and obstacle detection; fly-by-wire for enhanced auto-pilot; and an advanced human-machine-interface – in the form of a touchscreen and head worn display for inflight monitoring and control.

The combination of these technologies will enable a system that can manage navigation and route preparation, automatic take-off and landing, as well as following a predefined flight path. The incremental integration of these technologies onto the helicopter Flightlab has begun ahead of a complete demonstration in 2023. Airbus’ Urban Air Mobility will also benefit from this technology as an essential stepping stone towards autonomous flight.

“We are excited by the potential that the Vertex demonstrator project has to offer,” said Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technology Officer, Airbus. “By using our platform-agnostic flying laboratory to mature these technologies, we have an agile and efficient test bed that will support the development of future autonomous systems that could later equip Airbus’ current helicopter range and (e)VTOL platforms.”

Airbus’ mission is not to move ahead with autonomy as a target in itself, but to explore autonomous technologies alongside other technological innovations. In doing so, Airbus is able to analyse the potential to enhance future operations, and at the same time, leverage these opportunities to further improve aircraft safety.

Vertex is managed by Airbus UpNext, an Airbus subsidiary created to give future technologies a development fast-track by building demonstrators at speed and scale, evaluating, maturing and validating new products and services that encompass radical technological breakthroughs.

Source and image credit: Airbus

Read More
Image

Kea Aerospace achieves milestone in autonomous flight

Kea Aerospace has successfully completed a landmark BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) flight, demonstrating the capabilities of their advanced autonomous flight technology. The milestone UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) flight, conducted within Kea Aerospace’s Special Use Airspace, marks significant growth ...
Read more
Image

€100 m investment in wood-based EV batteries

Stora Enso Oyj is preparing to invest about €100 million in a pioneering project to use wood in electric vehicle batteries and offer an alternative to components currently made in China, according to its chief executive officer. The funds would ...
Read more
Image

First long-range electric trucks to New Zealand

Windrose Technology will work with Auckland based Etrucks® to bring the first long-range electric trucks to New Zealand. The Windrose E1400 6×4 semi tractor features extreme aerodynamic efficiency, with an industry low coefficient of drag of 0.2755. Combined with the ...
Read more
Image

DC Equipment Canada return Madill to B.C.

DC Equipment has announced the opening of its new manufacturing facility in Prince George, marking the return of Madill equipment production to British Columbia. The first machines to be produced at this facility will be the Madill 3000B Log Loaders, ...
Read more
Image

QLD budget weak on future timber material needs for housing

Queensland’s peak body for the forest and timber industry is warning of a looming building materials crisis by a lack of policy and budget measures for increasing future timber supply to help meet the state’s rising housing demand. “While we ...
Read more
Image

Kenworth unveils futuristic SuperTruck 2

Kenworth showcased its SuperTruck 2 demonstrator vehicle at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Las Vegas last month, a project developed over six years in collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck programme. The aim of the project ...
Read more
Image

Key drivers to decarbonise heavy transport fleets

The industry was buzzing once again for the Wood Transport & Logistics 2024 event that ran last week in Rotorua, New Zealand. Well over 200 forestry and log transport companies from across Australasia, America and Europe, came to Rotorua to ...
Read more
Image

Rocket Lab launches climate science satellites

Rocket Lab, a global leader in launch services and space systems, today launched the first of two back-to-back launches for NASA’s PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment) climate change-focused mission. ‘Ready, Aim, PREFIRE’ lifted-off from Rocket Lab Launch ...
Read more
Image

Hiringa launches hydrogen refuelling network

Taranaki-based green hydrogen developer Hiringa Energy has marked the opening of New Zealand’s first zero-emission green hydrogen refuelling network set to service heavy freight across the North Island. The initiative is the first of its kind in Australasia and was officially ...
Read more