The CityAirbus NextGen is completely electric and aims to fly at 120 km / h: thus the new “air taxi” from Airbus
It was the year 2017 when Airbus showed us the first renderings of the CityAirbus, its proposal for the UAM (urban air mobility, for its acronym in English). It was a kind of VTOL with four rotors and with an aesthetic very similar to a helicopter. Nothing to do, therefore, with him CityAirbus NextGen that the company just announced.
It has done so during the Airbus Summit and, according to the company, “marks the beginning of a new generation.” Unlike the previous model, the CityAirbus NextGen is equipped with fixed wings, a “V” shaped tail and eight propellers with a fully electric propulsion system.
Capacity for four people and 80 kilometers of autonomy
As explained by the company in a statement, the UAM is being developed to achieve a cruising speed of 120 km / h. It is expected that its autonomy is 80 kilometers, which is not much if we think about the distances between cities, but it is enough for a vehicle designed to go from one point to another in urban environments.
In that sense, it should be noted that it has capacity for four people and that the firm says it is working so that it does not make a lot of noise. “Sound levels are a key factor for an urban mission,” they explain from Airbus. The company ensures that its CityAirbus NextGen is below 65 dB during the flyby and below 70 dB during landing.
To give us an idea, 70 dB is more or less the sound level of city traffic, while 60 dB is equivalent to a conversation in normal tone. It’s not bad at all, but we can’t forget that the UAM is still under development. The first flight of the prototype is scheduled for 2023.
It should be noted that Airbus already has some experience with this type of vehicle. The CityAirbus and Vahana projects accumulate 242 tests in flight and on the ground and, together, have flown about 1,000 kilometers, they assure from the company, which also claims to be working with “partners, cities and inhabitants” to create the necessary ecosystem so that this type of services can work.
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