Beyond its first public test flight, Airbus ’air taxi, the CityAirbus, promises quieter, faster and more environmentally friendly traffic in the city.
The fact that CityAirbus will ever spread in this form would not be poisoned yet, as it is basically a demonstration machine with which the German aircraft manufacturer is trying to explore the potential of the technology. Airbus has had similar projects before, such as Pop.up Next, developed jointly with Audi, or Vahana, which has also been used for test flights, but none seemed as mature as CityAirbus.
Eight technology trends that could fundamentally define the next decade. If we rely on CES, in a few years we will be living in a sci-fi, between robot buses, air taxis and robots that trigger humans. If this is not the case, these eight trends will certainly be very pronounced in the coming years.
Development of the four-seater eVTOL (electric, vertical take-off and landing) vehicle began in 2016, and its scaled-down version is already over a hundred test flights. The life-size model was first tested in May last year, and Airbus now saw the time had come to show the public what it was capable of. In any case, they overtook their direct competition, because although smaller manufacturers such as Volocopter or Lift Aircraft, which has been working with Hungarian engineers, have been conducting test flights for some time, larger companies have not yet come up with an air taxi that has risen into the air. Although Hyundai unveiled its S-A1 to the public at CES in January, the air taxi, developed jointly with Uber, has not yet had public tests.
The CityAirbus is equipped with a total of eight electric rotors spaced in pairs at 950 rpm, so the vehicle’s noise emissions will be exceptionally low. The rotors are powered by associated 100 kilowatt electric motors developed by Siemens. In this design, according to Airbus, the aircraft is capable of a top speed of approximately 120 km / h and can cover hundreds of kilometers, and can also fly in fully automatic mode for 15 minutes. You don’t need a pilot to control the CityAirbus anyway, as the vehicle can be controlled remotely.
According to Airbus, the big advantage of an air taxi is that it is quieter and faster than urban transport by car, and it also does not emit harmful substances during operation. By the way, the manufacturer itself uses the term air taxi for CityAirbus, indicating that these vehicles will be best suited to travel shorter distances within the city, from station to station, as a travel sharing service. Airbus, together with an architectural firm called MVRDV, has already shown what urban aviation will look like: air taxis will arrive at designated landing sites (ie Vertiports), ie they will not replace but rather complement today’s public and public transport options.