Rotory Wing Flying Testbed
Mission Avionics Test Helicopter (MAT) for efficient system testing
The experimental helicopter MAT ("Mission Avionics Test Helicopter") is a universal test platform for the military, public authorities and industry.
Pilot-in-the-loop experimental helicopter

The MAT, based on a heavily modified Bell UH-1D, is operated by the Bundeswehr Technical Center for Aircraft and Aeronautical Equipment (WTD61) in Manching (Germany) with ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH, and partners.  Within the scope of a long lasting and close cooperation, current and future-oriented technologies, such as sensors and avionics systems are developed, tested, integrated and proven in flight under operational conditions using the MAT.

Target platforms
  • KH-Tiger
  • NH90
  • CH-53
  • Heavy-lift helicopter (STH)

Analyses and developments

  • Interdisciplinary use
  • Pilot-in-the-loop ground and flight tests
  • Testing of individual components as well as complete systems such as Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA), pilot assistance systems, armaments, laser and radar systems, sensors and camera systems for primary flight guidance
  • Flight tests under operational conditions simulating an integrated modular glass cockpit (e.g. for Tiger)
  • Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) capabilities

Pre-development and accompanying studies

The MAT is established to conduct investigations under operational conditions of complex systems, hardware and software in the loop – such as infrared camera systems and sensor fusion in conformance with head down and head up display concepts – together with test pilots and test flight engineers from WTD61 and ESG.


  • IFR-certified single pilot cockpit for flying within limited visibility conditions, and among others during, Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) conditions
  • Minimal qualification requirements for the components of the test equipment
  • Flight trials testing of non-certified hardware and software
  • Simultaneous comparative testing of systems in flight
  • Integrated monitoring and test system
  • Emulation of various target systems

Support and joint services of German Armed Forces (WTD61) and ESG

  • Provision and operation of MAT test helicopter
  • Concept design, implementation, and integration of avionic systems, mission or experimental equipment
  • Instrumentation and integrated on-board flight test monitoring
  • Flight test planning, execution and data analysis

For further information, please contact us