CityAirbus power on

An artist’s impression of the future CityAirbus battery-powered vertical take-off and landing quadcopter.

A recently completed Airbus ground test facility in Taufkirchen, Germany achieved power on to its iron bird electric propulsion test bench by December 19 (the company did not specify the actual date). The iron bird is being used to verify the entire electric propulsion system of the future CityAirbus demonstrator developed by Airbus’ E-Aircraft Systems.

Airbus describes the CityAirbus as a four-passenger, self-piloted battery-powered vertical take-off and landing vehicle designed for urban air mobility.

According to the aerospace giant, the test bench configuration reflects the CityAirbus architecture including motors, power electronics and distribution boxes developed and produced by Siemens. The test bench has the capability to operate the propulsion system chain from flight controls to the dynamic loads of the propellers, and allow verification of the electric, mechanical and thermal dynamics. Once matured and verified, the propulsion system will be fitted to the demonstrator by mid-2018.

The first structural parts for the demonstrator air vehicle have been produced and are ready for the assembly line ahead of Airbus’ plan to make the CityAirbus’ first flight before the end of 2018.