Peugeot Design Lab Reveals Airbus Helicopter
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.
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Why it matters
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.