Noise, Power Focus of AgustaWestland Research
AgustaWestland last year invested 11 percent of its revenues in research and development. It is a co-leader (with Eurocopter) of the CleanSky Joint Technology Initiative, a major European research program, and is studying active blade control to reduce noise. Planned is ground testing of an active blade segment, then wind tunnel testing of a complete model and eventually flight-testing of such a new rotor. Also, AgustaWestland is working within CleanSky on replacing hydraulics with electric systems. The company is also considering fuel cells in lieu of auxiliary power units on medium and heavy helicopters.