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With the influx of new urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles taking to the skies in the coming years, there is a growing need for operators to test real-world technology in a lab setting. A new research and development lab is designed for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and UAM markets. The lab, built by Honeywell, resembles a conceptual UAM vehicle flight deck with real hardware. It will be used to develop, test and demonstrate the company’s technology aimed at simplifying the operations of future vehicles.

It is the first of its kind lab to demonstrate actual fly-by-wire controls and vehicle avionics integrated in a lab setting. 

“It is essential that these vehicles are as intuitive as possible and that we have a dedicated space to ensure our systems make that a reality,” said Stéphane Fymat, vice president and general manager, UAS/UAM, Honeywell Aerospace. “With this new lab we can fully simulate real vehicle functionality with real hardware for our customers, which will cut back on costly flight test hours and help them reach their goal of attaining simplified vehicle operations.”

The concept of simplified vehicle operations, or SVO, combines automation and human factors best practices with the goal of reducing the amount of knowledge an operator must have to safely fly an aircraft.

In this lab, customers can use a control stick to fly a digital version of their aircraft through a high-resolution model of a city.