LONDON—Airbus Helicopters is to fly a conventional helicopter using an electric backup system in 2020 as part of flight trials with the French Ministry for Transport (DGAC). The helicopter manufacturer will retrofit an H130 single-engine turbine helicopter with an electric motor, developed by Thales and a battery produced by Airbus’ defense and space business. It will be capable of powering the helicopter for up to 30 sec. without the use of the engine, giving pilots performing ...

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