Commercial aircraft manufacturer Airbus held its first Airbus Summit, called “Pioneering Sustainable Aerospace,” earlier this month in Toulouse, France, in which it unveiled a new-generation, all-electric, emissions-free CityAirbus vehicle. The aircraft manufacturer initiated the CityAirbus design program with an eye toward joining the burgeoning Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market, which seeks to provide sustainable air mobility solutions and networks suitable for transporting city dwellers in air taxi-like vehicles.
The CityAirbus NextGen builds on progress the aerospace company made in designing a previous multi-copter CityAirbus demonstrator and a single-seat, winged Vahana electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) demonstrator. Those vehicles have undergone a combined 240-plus flight and ground tests and have flown roughly 621.4 miles (1,000 kilometers). The CityAirbus NextGen features fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and eight electrically driven propellers (six on the wings, two on the tail) that make up its distributed propulsion system.
Safe, Sustainable Urban Flight
The CityAirbus NextGen is now in a detailed design phase. Its first flight is expected in 2023, and certification is anticipated for 2025. It can be remotely piloted, carry four passengers across a roughly 50-mi (80-km) range, and travel at nearly 75 mph (120 km/h). Those characteristics, Airbus says, make it perfect for various uses in urban areas.
“We are on a quest to co-create an entirely new market that sustainably integrates urban air mobility into the cities while addressing environmental and social concerns,” says Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even. “Airbus is convinced that the real challenges are as much about urban integration, public acceptance, and automated air traffic management as about vehicle technology and business models. We build on all of the capabilities to deliver a safe, sustainable, and fully integrated service to society.”
CityAirbus aircraft are up to three times faster than automobiles and generate less noise than traditional helicopters, Airbus claims. Additionally, sound levels fall below 65 dB during flyovers, and below 70 dB during landings. The vehicle is optimized for hover and cruise efficiency, but it doesn’t require moving surfaces or tilting parts during transition. Furthermore, Airbus says the CityAirbus NextGen meets the highest certification standards in the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) special condition-VTOL (SC-VTOL) Enhanced category.
In addition to bringing the CityAirbus NextGen to market, Airbus is working with partners, cities, and urban citizens to create an ecosystem it says will be vital to supporting this “new operating environment to emerge in a true service to society.”
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Posted On: 9/30/2021 5:01:14 PM