The CityAirbus Flying Taxi to Feature a Next-Level Human-Machine Interface Concept

Airbus will start flights tests for the CityAirbus NextGen this year 8 photos
Photo: Airbus
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Airbus is putting the finishing touches on its flying taxi, with the help of prestigious experts in the field of electrical power distribution systems (EPDS) and human-machine interface technology.
One of the most fascinating things about the emerging AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) is that it’s an equally tempting (and welcoming) playground for newcomers and giants in the industry. An eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) developed by a virtually unknown startup theoretically has the same chances at success and popularity as one that’s developed by an established aerospace company.

However, there’s probably a lot more pressure on these reputable players to come up with something that’s above and beyond. Airbus certainly seems to be focused on delivering the best.

You’ve most likely heard about the CityAirbus NextGen air taxi. Airbus, one of the top names in global aerospace, isn’t rushing to launch its eVTOL like some younger manufacturers. It takes time to find the best partners for each part of the future vehicle, either structural or technology-related. And Airbus made sure to secure a top-notch selection.

The electric aircraft’s rear fuselage is being developed with the help of two German companies (KLK Motorsport and Modell-und Formenbau Blasius Gerg GmbH) who have worked with both Formula One and FormulaE, specializing in composite design and component manufacturing. AeroSystems was selected for developing the aircraft’s wings, while Thales and Diehl are responsible for the structural components.

Two new names are joining this prestigious list, as the CityAirbus gets ready to receive its flight deck controls and electrical power management system.

Eaton will be the one to design and manufacture the power distribution unit that will be integrated into the eVTOL’s electrical propulsion system. It will connect the Airbus-designed batteries with the aircraft’s eight electrical power units. According to Eaton, the latest-generation components were used to develop this high-voltage system.

Crouzet, on the other hand, is the one developing a brand-new human-machine interface concept that’s specifically designed for the CityAirbus NextGen. Future pilots will be able to switch smoothly from fully-automated flight to manual control. The advanced flight control system is ready to take charge of the propellers, which makes things easier for the pilot and allows them to focus more on the aircraft’s trajectory.

In case you’re wondering about the actual motor of this future eVTOL, it’s the Californian MAGiDRIVE. A new-generation, lightweight brushless motor made by MAGicALL (seen by many in the industry as the best when it comes to electric propulsion systems) the MAGiDRIVE is said to combine a rugged design that makes it extra durable with high torque of up to 50 Nm/kg. A custom version of it will power the future CityAirbus.

Now that the four-seat eVTOL is getting the final touches, it will soon be ready to kick off flight tests this year, in Ingolstadt, Germany.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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