Airbus say they have recently completed the first full-scale testing for the propulsion system of the CityAirbus demonstrator – a multi-passenger, self-piloted electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle designed for urban air mobility.
During this successful testing phase, the CityAirbus team thoroughly checked the individual performance of the ducted propellers as well as the integration of the full-scale propulsion unit with two propellers, electric 100 KW Siemens motors and all electrical systems.
CityAirbus is a battery-powered air vehicle able to vertically take off and land.
It is designed to carry up to four passengers over congested megacities to important destinations such as airports or train stations in a fast, affordable and environmentally friendly way.
The innovative four-ducted propeller configuration significantly contributes to safety and low acoustic footprint.
“We now have a better understanding of the performance of CityAirbus’ innovative electric propulsion system, which we will continue to mature through rigorous testing while beginning the assembly of the full-scale CityAirbus flight demonstrator” says Marius Bebesel, CityAirbus chief engineer.
In the first half of 2018 the development team expects to reach the “power on” milestone, meaning that all motors and electric systems will be switched on for the first time, testing will take place on the ground initially.
The first flight is scheduled for the end of 2018 using a remotely piloted test aircraft, later on a test pilot will be on board.
CityAirbus will be designed to carry up to four passengers on fixed routes with a cruising speed of 120 km/h.
It will be initially operated by a pilot to ease certification and public acceptance, paving the way to future fully-autonomous operations.