There are many companies currently working on Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturing for air mobility solutions. One of them is Airbus, which has revealed a next-generation CityAirbus electric plane, a “flying taxi” built for urban areas.
The latest edition of CityAirbus is the company’s zero-emission electric vehicle built to fly in noise-sensitive urban areas. The electric aircraft is part of Airbus’s vision for an intra-city “flying taxi” service. It was revealed at the company’s first Airbus Summit on “Pioneering Sustainable Aerospace,” which focuses on concepts that enhance the urban air mobility market.
The next generation of CityAirbus is equipped with fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and eight electrically powered propellers as part of its uniquely designed distributed propulsion system. It can carry up to four passengers in a zero-emissions flight, be remotely piloted, fly with an 80 km (50 miles) range, and reach a cruise speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). This makes it perfectly suited for operations in major cities for a variety of missions. Noise reduction is a key feature of the plane, which features sound levels below 65 dB(A) during fly-over and below 70 dB(A) during landing.
“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. 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,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO.
The CityAirbus NextGen combines the best of Airbus’ successful concepts, the original CityAirbus and Vahana, including hover and forward flight. The Vahana and CityAirbus demonstrators have jointly conducted 242 flight and ground tests and have flown around 1,000 km (621 miles) in total.
CityAirbus NextGen is in a detailed design phase right now, and the prototype’s first flight is planned for 2023. The company hopes to complete the certification of the device by 2025 in order to obtain a commercial operating license.