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CityAirbus nears end of flight-trials programme

By Chris Stonor

Airbus Helicopters is nearing the end of its flight trials for its CityAirbus UAM demonstrator, reports

Tethered flights of the CityAirbus began in 2019 at the company’s Donauworth production site in Southern Germany, before the aircraft was moved to nearby Manching Airfield. The CityAirbus uses four pairs of ducted fans, with each of the eight fixed-pitch propellers powered by a 100kW electric motor.

Tomasz Krysinkski

Tomasz Krysinski, Vice-President of Research & Innovation, told the Royal Aeronautical Society’s European Rotorcraft Forum this week, “Most of the information we wanted to gain from the flight trials we have now got. We have seen almost everything we needed to see” and describes the data collected as “very valuable”.

Yet, Krysinski remains a little coy on whether the manufacturer will now launch a product on the back of these tests. “I will not say too much for now, but must emphasise Airbus Helicopters has very big ambitions in UAM.”

Krysinski says the 2.2 ton maximum take-off weight for the CityAirbus that boasts a 400kg load, is more representative of a final product than other smaller demonstrators currently being flown.

He continued, “If you want to learn something then you should make [the demonstrator] to the real scale.” Adding cryptically, “Something that could be certified could come at the end of this learning”.

Meanwhile, Airbus Helicopters is currently testing a fly-by-wire system for future UAM applications on its H130-based Flightlab flying testbed.

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