Helicopters Magazine

News eVTOL
Thales, Diehl to supply flight controls for CityAirbus NextGen


November 17, 2021
By Helicopters Staff


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Airbus has selected Thales and Diehl to supply the electrical flight controls for CityAirbus NextGen, the aircraft maker’s future air taxi due to make its maiden flight in 2023.

Thales notes flight control systems are critical to safety, calculating and adjusting the position of the aircraft’s control surfaces and managing engine thrust. Electrical flight control systems are progressively replacing conventional mechanical systems, explains the company, and offer significant advantages in terms of safety, performance and reliability, as well as reducing aircraft weight and improving passenger comfort.

The system selected by Airbus will combine Thales primary flight computers with secondary flight computers from Diehl. Thales explains the choice of different flight computers will help improve flight safety and provide system integrity to comply with new EASA regulation for eVTOL.

Thales states it will draw on its experience of electrical flight controls, which dates back to the 1980s with the fly-by-wire systems for the Airbus A310, and with a total of 12,000 aircraft equipped to date.

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The fully electric CityAirbus NextGen is designed to carry up to four passengers in a zero emissions flight in multiple applications. CityAirbus is being developed to fly with an 80 km range and to reach a cruise speed of 120 km/h. It is being built to not require moving surfaces or tilting parts during transition.