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Airbus reveals new “quieter version” of flying eVTOL

By Chris Stonor

Airbus this week revealed its latest “quieter version” of CityAirbus, constructed to fly in noise-sensitive urban areas, reports

This next generation of the eVTOL aircraft is part of Airbus’s vision for an intra-city flying taxi service. The zero-emission eVTOL plane was revealed at the company’s first Airbus Summit on “Pioneering Sustainable Aerospace,” which focuses on concepts that enhance the UAM market.

Airbus says, the eVTOL carries four passengers, is remotely piloted, and flies up to 50 miles at a speed of 74.5 mph. The aircraft body features a V-shaped tail and fixed wings and its unique propulsion system consists of eight electrically powered propellers. Noise reduction is a key feature that offers sound levels less than 65 dBa during fly-overs and below 70 dBa during landing.

Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even, commented, “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.” Adding, “We build on all of the capabilities to deliver a safe, sustainable, and fully integrated service to society.”

The aircraft is being developed in Airbus’ Helicopter division and is an upgraded version of the company’s original CityAirbus that debuted in July 2020. The first generation CityAirbus began development in 2016 and was envisioned as a taxi service that could bypass city traffic by flying above it.

Bruno Even

CityAirbus NextGen “combines the best of both worlds” by taking successful ideas from the original CityAirbus and Vahana, including hover and forward flight, according to Airbus. The two vehicles have collectively demonstrated 242 test flights covering over 621 miles, which has helped Airbus optimise its new electric plane that does not require any moving surfaces or tilting parts during transition, improving its hover and cruise efficiency.

CityAirbus is in the design stage of development and the prototype’s first flight is planned for 2023 with certification expected for 2025.

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