Airbus presents a two-ton electric aircraft 

The all-electric CityAirbus NextGen is due to make its maiden flight this year. Airbus has been working towards this eVTOL prototype for nearly five years and targets a flight range of 80 km and a cruising speed of 120 km/h.

Image: Airbus

The unveiling of the CityAirbus NextGen coincides with the opening of the new CityAirbus test centre in the town of Donauwörth at the Danube River. The Airbus site is dedicated to testing systems for eVTOLs.

For the new machine, Airbus will conduct all remaining tests on-site before the first take-off. Testing covers the electric motors with eight propellers and the aircraft’s other systems, such as flight controls and avionics.

Airbus announced the concept in March 2019 when it developed the eVTOL as part of the Urban Air Mobility project the manufacturer set up with Audi. The idea has remained unchanged, but the design has been completely revamped. 

The aircraft will be able to carry four passengers around 80 kilometres and at speeds of up to 120 km/h. With this, Airbus considers the battery-electric aircraft “perfectly suited for operations in major cities for a variety of missions”.  

Fixed wings spanning twelve metres carry the eVTOL body with a V-shaped tail. Six of the propellers are attached to the wings, while two more are located on the tail. Airbus also specified sound levels less than 65 dBa during fly-overs and below 70 dBa during landing. Other technical details remain unknown.

The company did not mention certification in today’s news either, even though the timeline shows a slight delay. The maiden flight was initially set for 2023, with certification around 2025. At the same time, Airbus said today, it was creating “a unique ecosystem that will foster a successful and viable AAM market”.

“Rolling out CityAirbus NextGen for the very first time is an important and very real step that we are taking towards advanced air mobility and our future product and market,” added Balkiz Sarihan, Head of Urban Air Mobility at Airbus.


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