As part of its “Pioneering Sustainable Aerospace” summit earlier this week, Airbus announced plans for its CityAirbus NextGen urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft. The fully electric, four-seat, V-tail fixed-wing aircraft is configured with eight motors optimizing the “distributed propulsion” advantage. Perhaps most to its credit, the new program combines data and experience from Airbus’s 242 flight and ground tests with two lead-in designs—the Vahana and the first-generation CityAirbus program.
Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, said, “We have learned a lot from the test campaigns with our two demonstrators. The CityAirbus NextGen combines the best from both worlds with the new architecture striking the right balance between hover and forward flight. The prototype is paving the way for certification expected around 2025.”
Initial performance targets are a modest 43-NM range flying at 65 knots’ cruise speed, said Airbus. Low noise signature is another, often underestimated, advantage of electric flight.