As the emerging Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market begins to strengthen, Airbus announced its plans for the new CityAirbus at the company's first Airbus Summit on “Pioneering Sustainable Aviation”. The all-electric, next-generation CityAirbus is equipped with eight electrically powered propellers, fixed blades and a V-shaped tail as part of a uniquely designed distributed propulsion system, and is designed to carry up to four passengers in a zero-emission flight.
Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, said: “We seek to create an entirely new market in which urban air transport is sustainably integrated into cities while addressing environmental and social concerns. Airbus believes that the main challenges are with vehicle technology and business models as well as urban integration, community acceptance and automated air traffic management. We bring together all talents and expertise to provide a safe, sustainable and fully integrated service to the community.”
Developed to reach speeds of up to 80 km/h with a range of 120 km, CityAirbus is ideal for carrying out the various tasks of metropolitan operations.
Sound levels are a crucial factor for an urban task; Airbus' extensive expertise in sound-reducing designs brings CityAirbus sound levels below 65 decibels during flight and 70 decibels during landing. Optimized for hover and cruise efficiency, with no moving surfaces or curved parts required during transit. CityAirbus NextGen will provide best-in-class economic performance in operations alongside its plain and simple design while meeting the highest certification standards (EASA SC-VTOL Enhanced Category).
Airbus draws on decades of specialized research, innovation, two electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles and improvements in audio technology in its product portfolio, as well as decades of experience in certifying aircraft. Vahana and CityAirbus vehicles conducted a total of 242 flight and ground tests and flew approximately 1.000 km. In addition, Airbus leveraged computing and modeling power using extensive small-scale flight tests and wind tunnel applications. CityAirbus NextGen is currently in a detailed design phase and the prototype's first flight is scheduled for 2023.
Even said, “We learned a lot from our test flights with CityAirbus and Vahana. CityAirbus NextGen combines the best of both worlds with new architecture that strikes the right balance between standby and forward flight. The prototype paves the way for the expected certification in 2025.”