Airbus Helicopters has completed the first full-scale testing of the propulsion system of the self-piloted CityAirbus demonstrator. The project is targeting first flight in 2018.
Airbus Helicopters has 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.
The individual performance of the ducted propellers was checked, as well as the integration of the full-scale propulsion unit with two propellers, 100kW Siemens electric 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 destinations such as airports or train stations in a fast, affordable and environmentally friendly way. The ducted propeller configuration is designed to ensure safety and low acoustic footprint.
The full-scale demonstrator will be tested on ground initially. In the first half of the coming year the development team expects to reach the “power on” milestone, where all motors and electric systems will be switched on for the first time. The first flight is scheduled for the end of 2018. In the beginning, the test aircraft will be remotely piloted, 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 120km/h. It will be initially operated by a pilot to ease certification and public acceptance, paving the way to future fully-autonomous operations.