The Peugeot Design Lab is home to some of the brightest design minds in the world. I don’t think anyone’s going to dispute that with the kind of innovative creations it has developed over the years. Lest we forget, PDL’s portfolio of designs already includes the Catamaran Concept and the Peugeot Food Truck, aptly named "Le Bistrot du Lion”. Now, PDL is taking its talents into the world of aviation with the presentation of the H160 civil helicopter at the 2015 Dubai Airshow.

Designed in collaboration with Airbus Helicopters, the H160 is a medium-twin helicopter that PDL worked on as a prize for winning a styling competition launched by Airbus. Though Airbus’ in-house design team was in charge of submitting the final designs of the H160, it was the Design Lab that laid the foundation. PDL accomplished this by incorporating elements from Airbus’ previous-generation Dauphin helicopter and adding its own touches to the design. The revamped nose, the biplane stabiliser, the canted tail rotor, and the Blue Edge blades are all signature features of the H160 that traces their origins to the Design Lab.

As impressive as the final design is, the fact that Airbus is actually going to build the H160 for production with the intention of launching the model in 2016 is a clear validation of the work being put in by the talented designers working in the Peugeot Design Lab. Airbus has given no indication on how much it plans to sell the production H160 for, but judging by its aggressive styling and cutting-edge technology, I wouldn’t be surprised if the price tag for the civilian chopper easily exceeds the $8.9 million base price of the Dauphin.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Peugeot Design Lab Reveals Airbus Helicopter High Resolution
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I’ll come out and say it: I don’t think the Peugeot Design Lab has been given the amount of credit it deserves for coming up with some pretty-cutting edge designs. I’ve already mentioned the Catamaran Concept and the "Le Bistrot du Lion” food truck, but if you look at its website, you’re going to see a wide range of everyday products that carry PDL’s design signature. Whether it’s a sofa, a chandelier, newspaper wood lamps, 3D printed lamps, concept watches, jewellery, or toys, PDL has these items in its portfolio.

All these items are a testament to the kind of creativity and ingenuity that goes on inside the design studio. It’s a shame that these talented designers don’t get the kind of attention and credit they deserve.

So that’s exactly what I’m doing here. I get that Peugeot will always be associated as a car brand over everything else. I’ve no issues with that. But it’s time that the company’s other endeavors, specifically the Design Lab, is put on front street so it can be seen and appreciated.

I’m not an expert on helicopters by any means, but I’ve seen my fair share of them and I can tell you that the H160 is a clear step forward in the design evolution of helicopters. Moving ahead, I hope that PDL comes up with more designs like this, whatever field it may be in. Heck, I’d want to see its designers come up with a design for a future Peugeot vehicle, essentially connecting the two divisions and creating something that’s totally going to blow people away.

Remember the reaction people had when Peugeot released the Onyx Concept at the 2012 Paris Motor Show? Now imagine the Peugeot Design Lab coming up with a concept that will make the Onyx look like a Peel P50.

Press Release

Airbus Helicopters is presenting its new civil helicopter, the H160, at the Dubai Airshow between 8th to 12th November. PEUGEOT Design Lab drew up the initial plans for the helicopter’s design, which were then adapted, developed and finalised by the in-house design team at Airbus Helicopters. The sleek, dynamic lines of the H160 represent a new aesthetic for the helicopters in the product range, reflecting the generational leap embodied by the model.

Peugeot Design Lab Reveals Airbus Helicopter High Resolution
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The Dubai Airshow is an international, biennial event that drew over 60,000 visitors in 2013. At this year’s airshow, Airbus Helicopters is presenting the H160, its new medium-twin helicopter whose commercialisation will begin in 2016. This versatile model is designed to perform a wide range of duties, including offshore platforms, public-service missions, emergency medical services as well as private business and aviation.

The designers at the PEUGEOT Design Lab began work on the H160 (then known as the X4) after winning an in-house style competition, launched by Airbus Helicopters in an aim to get outside influences and to create a new benchmark with regards to helicopter style. The in-house design team at Airbus Helicopters then developed and fine-tuned PEUGEOT’s initial design to create the aircraft that is presented this year.

“We used the initial styling developed by PEUGEOT Design Lab to define a strong personality for the rotorcraft—a mirror reflection of the innovation, performance and emotion unique to the H160. We developed a helicopter based on the PEUGEOT Design Lab design which immediately caught the attention of both operators and the general public. Style has become a key priority for the H160 programme, which aims to make a strong impression both with its unique personality and its performance,” said Guillaume Chielens, Head of Style and Design at Airbus Helicopters.

The futuristic contours of the H160, which are enhanced by the helicopter’s tapered windows, represent the culmination of the design project. The styling offers an updated take on the previous generation, the Dauphin, whose iconic nose has been revamped. The sleek lines of the H160 convey how efficient and quiet it is in the air—performance achieved through a series of innovations, including an airframe made from composite materials, a biplane stabilizer, a canted tail rotor and Blue Edge blades.

Peugeot Design Lab Reveals Airbus Helicopter High Resolution
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“PEUGEOT Design Lab demonstrated its ability to take on complex technological projects through its work on the exterior design of the H160,” explained Cathal Loughnane, Head of the PEUGEOT global brand design studio. Since it was established in 2012, an extensive range of customers have relied on the studio’s services: Dassault Aviation, Alstom, Bombardier, Leclerc, SEB, Quechua and more. One of the latest PEUGEOT Design Lab projects is the PEUGEOT food truck, Le Bistro du Lion.

Find all the information for PEUGEOT Design Lab on the site www.peugeotdesignlab.com

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