March 9, 2022 By Helicopters Staff
Airbus signed an agreement to have Spirit AeroSystems develop and manufacture wings in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for the future CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL aircraft.
Airbus explains the structural concept of the eVTOL’s fixed wings will be able to transmit the related aerodynamic loads while being optimized for the right balance between hover and cruise efficiency. CityAirbus NextGen’s distributed propulsion system, continues Airbus, will contribute to reducing the influence of air turbulence.
“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,” said Jörg Müller, Head of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) at Airbus.
Spirit AeroSystems is one of the world’s largest suppliers of aerostructures now with a large UK footprint in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Back in 2020, Spirit AeroSystems completed the acquisition of Bombardier’s Aerostructures and aftermarket service interests in Belfast, as well as Casablanca, Morocco; and Dallas, United States. The Belfast facility was heavily involved in developing wings for what is now the Airbus A220, in addition to Bombardier business jets.
Airbus is developing the fully electric CityAirbus NextGen to be equipped with fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and eight electrically powered propellers as part of its distributed propulsion system. CityAirbus NextGen is being developed to fly with an 80 km operational range and to reach a cruise speed of 120 km/h.