Spirit AeroSystems is to develop and supply the wings for Airbus’ air taxi, the CityAirbus NextGen.
Spirit will make the air taxi’s wings in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with the aim of achieving the least weight possible, while ensuring the highest levels of safety, said Airbus.
The all-electric CityAirbus NextGen is designed to carry up to four passengers with a 80km (50 miles) range and a cruise speed of 120 km/h (75mph), for use in cities. The aircraft is being optimized for hover and cruise efficiency, while not requiring moving surfaces or tilting parts during transition.
The structural concept of the eVTOL aircraft’s fixed wings will be able to transmit the related aerodynamic loads while being optimized for the right balance between hover and cruise efficiency. Its distributed propulsion system will contribute to reducing the influence of air turbulence.
Jörg Müller, head of urban air mobility at Airbus said, “The partnership with Spirit AeroSystems is an important step for the development of CityAirbus NextGen and its wings are key structural components for flight efficiency. To build an optimized vehicle for cleaner and safer air transport, we are proud to onboard Spirit as a strategic partner who benefits from a proven track record in this field, and extensive experience in component quality and airworthiness.”
Spirit AeroSystems is one of the world’s largest suppliers of aerostructures and provides fully integrated wings and wing elements for several Airbus commercial aircraft.
Airbus has been developing the CityAirbus since 2016, and this September revealed the updated NextGen design. In November the company selected Thales and Diehl to supply the eVTOL aircraft’s electrical flight controls.