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Airbus' Urban Air Mobility Roadmap leads to an electric future



 
 
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Old June 21st 17, 04:50 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Default Airbus' Urban Air Mobility Roadmap leads to an electric future

http://newatlas.com/airbus-urban-air...ircraft/50113/

Airbus' Urban Air Mobility Roadmap leads to an electric future

Mike Hanlon June 20, 2017

The electric attraction in Paris this year from Airbus was the
Vahana, an electric VTOL single ...

The electric attraction in Paris this year from Airbus was the Vahana,
an electric VTOL single seater concept envisaged as an autonomous air
taxi and cargo delivery vehicle (Credit: Airbus)

VIEW GALLERY - 26 IMAGES

The rapid modernization of the aerospace industry became evident in
Paris this week when Airbus Group's recently appointed Chief
Technology Officer (CTO), Paul Eremenko, rolled out the company's
developing portfolio of urban air mobility solutions.

CityAirbus is currently Airbus' miost likely short-term solution for
urban air commuting and appeared at the Paris Air Show at the Paris
Air Lab booth. The electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL)
CityAirbus will carry up to four passengers and the plans suggest it
could quickly go into service as a piloted helicopter without
regulatory changes. Those plans call for the CityAirbus to begin
autonomous operations once regulations are in place. CityAirbus is
currently Airbus' miost likely short-term solution for urban air
commuting and appeared at the Paris Air Show at the Paris Air Lab
booth. The electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) CityAirbus
will carry up to four passengers and the plans suggest it could
quickly go into service as a piloted helicopter without regulatory
changes. Those plans call for the CityAirbus to begin autonomous
operations once regulations are in place. A slide from Paul
Eremenko's presentation Building the Third Golden Age of Aerospace.
Three distinct air vehicles can be seen in the presentation slide,
being the four-passenger CityAirbus (front left), Verhana ((middle
right) and a last-mile delivery Octacopter from the Skyways Project
(bottom right). Airbus' Skyways is an unmanned parcel delivery system
project being created in Singapore with the Civil Aviation Authority
of Singapore. An initial trial phase is planned at the National
University of Singapore in early 2018, but the prospects are excellent
for the ongoing development of the service as Singapore Post has now
joined the project. The pictured Octacopter is the principal drone to
be used in the initial phase.

Eremenko is a distinct departure from previous CTOs in this
tradition-steeped industry, as he hails from the disruptive technology
end of town. Having just completed a two-year assignment as the
inaugural CEO of the Airbus A3 Innovation Centre in San Jose,
California, Eremenko previously worked on futuristic technologies at
Google, Motorola and DARPA.

Airbus A3's brief is to explore technologies that are potentially
disruptive to the organization's core business and Eremenko was
ideally qualified for the task, having previously worked as Director
of Engineering for Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group
(ATAP), the tech behemoth's equivalent to Lockheed-Martin's
skunkworks, where he headed Project Ara, the modular smartphone
hardware ecosystem. Eremenko joined Google when it purchased Motorola,
where he had conceived and headed the initial Project Ara.


Before that, Eremenko (inset above) ran the Tactical Technology Office
(TTO) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where
he was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal by the Office of
the Secretary of Defence. The son of the Ukrainian-American
mathematician Alexandre Eremenko (recipient of the prestigious
Humboldt Prize in Mathematics), Paul has a bachelor's degree in
Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, a Master's degrees in
Aeronautics from Caltech, and a law degree from Georgetown University.

That's an impressive resume considering Eremenko just turned 36 years
of age, and his appointment to the CTO role and his presentation
entitled Building the Third Golden Age of Aerospace, foretells great
change within Airbus. Airbus seems to be the first of the big
aerospace institutions to have grasped that it doesn't just make
airplanes, but is a mobility company.


The above illustration is a slide from Eremenko's Airbus Media Day
presentation. Three distinct air vehicles can be seen in the
presentation slide, being the four-passenger CityAirbus (front left),
Vahana (middle right) and a last-mile delivery Octacopter from the
Skyways Project (bottom right).


It is common knowledge that Airbus A3 has been working with Uber,
which is planning to add an airborne component to its car-based
ride-sharing program, and A3 is already operating an on-demand
helicopter booking platform named Voom in Sao Paulo, one of the
world's most congested cities. Similar in nature and convenience to
car-based Uber, Voom's aim is to "render helicopters accessible to a
discerning mass-market consumer base, grow demand for passenger
helicopter transportation, and, in the long-run, grow the total market
for helicopters."

According to the 2016 Airbus Annual Report, "The development of
electric and hybrid-propulsion aircraft is one of the company's key
priorities for the future, and the CTO is leading this 'E-aircraft
Roadmap' with the long-term goal of applying electric and
hybrid-propulsion technologies to helicopters and regional airliners.
Electric-powered thrust fans for aircraft will contribute to the
aviation technology environmental targets of reductions of CO2
emissions by 75 percent, NOx emissions by 90 percent, and noise by 65
percent by 2050."

The Airbus Urban Air Mobility Roadmap


Regular New Atlas readers will have seen most of the milestones
outlined on the Airbus Urban Air Mobility Roadmap in great detail, so
we've added a brief description of each vehicle and links to the
original stories.

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the perspective offered by
lining them all up together is that the most recent prototypes, Vahana
and CityAirbus, stand a far greater chance of taking aviation
mainstream than anything that we have seen previously. The air taxi
model currently being successfully trialed in Sao Paulo with Voom
might rapidly progress the adoption of multicopter aviation.

2010 | Cri Cri


The single-seat Cri Cri was shown at the 2010 Paris Air Show. Based on
the popular French ultralights of the 1970s and built using composite
materials, the twin electric motor Cri Cri had a take-off weight
(including the pilot) of just 175 kg (386 lb) and could fly for 30
minutes at 60 knots (111 km/h, 69 mph).

2011 | e-Genius


The e-Genius electric aircraft made news in 2011 when it stayed aloft
for over two hours while maintaining an average speed of 100 mph (160
km/h), all on a single 56-kWh battery pack.

2011 | DA36 E-Star


Developed by EADS in collaboration with Siemens and Diamond Aircraft,
the DA36 E-Star was the world's first series-hybrid electric aircraft.
It was based on the Diamond HK36 Super Dimona two-seat motor glider
and was shown at the 2011 Paris Air Show. The DA-36 E-Star was powered
by a 70-kW electric motor, with a small Wankel engine driving a
generator as a range-extender.

2014 | E-Fan 1.0


Developed by Airbus Group (formerly EADS) with a consortium of
European aerospace companies, the E-fan evolved from the Cri-Cri
electric plane, which Airbus used as a test bed and flying laboratory
for developing the battery and energy management technology used in
the E-Fan. The two-seater E-fan was built with an all-composite
construction and powered by two ducted, variable-pitch, electric fans
fed by a series of 250-V lithium-ion polymer batteries.

2015 | E-Fan 1.1


On July 10, 2015, the Airbus E-Fan took off from Lydd Airport in
England and flew 46 miles (74 km) to Calais (France) in 36 minutes at
an altitude of about 3,500 ft. The parallels with the infancy of
powered flight were obvious, with the first flight across the English
Channel achieved by Louis Blériot in his Blériot XI on July 25, 1909.
The record was not without controversy however.

2016 | Extra 330 L


The Extra 330LE aerobatic plane made its first flight in July 2016 and
although the Siemens motor tips the scales at just 50 kg (110 lb), it
is capable of delivering a continuous 260 kW. On March 23, 2017, the
Extra 330LE was clocked at 337.5 km/h (209.7 mph) and officially
became the fastest electric airplane with a take-off weight less than
1,000 kg (2,205 lb).

2016 | E-Fan 2.0


Billed as the "world's first series production electric plane", the
E-Fan 2.0 was shown for the first time at the 51st Paris Air Show in
2015. Voltair, an Airbus subsidiary, is working with French
manufacturer Daher-Socata on setting up a new production facility to
produce the E-Fan 2.0, with deliveries expected in 2018.

2017 | Vahana


Much conjecture in Paris had it that the autonomous electric VTOL
single seat Vahana had been crafted specifically for the needs of the
Uber urban air taxi service, which Airbus A3 is known to have been
working with. It is also envisaged that Vahana will be used for cargo
delivery.

2018 | E-Aircraft System House


Airbus and Siemens set up a partnership in 2016 to research and
develop hybrid-electric propulsion systems and a new facility to be
known as the E-Aircraft Systems House in Ottobrunn was begun. A team
comprising 200 staff drawn from both companies will work in this
dedicated research lab for future electric and hybrid-electric
technologies.

2018 | CityAirbus


CityAirbus is currently Airbus' most likely short-term solution for
urban air commuting and appeared at the Paris Air Show at the Paris
Air Lab booth. The electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL)
CityAirbus will carry up to four passengers and the plans suggest it
could quickly go into service as a piloted helicopter without
regulatory changes. Those plans call for the CityAirbus to begin
autonomous operations once regulations are in place.

2019 | E-Fan X


Airbus plans to begin working on an ambitious future demonstrator
version of the E-Fan concept shortly. The E-Fan X will require 2
megawatts of power.

2020 | New Single-Aisle Electric Aircraft


The "Holy Grail" for Airbus is the development of an electric
single-aisle passenger aircraft and that's still some way off, as it
is projected that 20 megawatts will be required from the engines.

It is common knowledge that A3 has been working with Uber which is
planning to add an airborne component to it's car-based ride-sharing
program and A3 is already operating an on-demand helicopter booking
platform named Voom in Sao Paulo, one of the world's most congested
cities. Similar in nature and convenience to car-based Uber, Voom's
aim is to A slide from Paul Eeremenko's presentation entitled
Building the Third Golden Age of Aerospace. Eremenko is a distinct
departure from previous CTOs in this tradition-steeped industry, as he
hails from the disruptive technology end of town. Having just
completed a two-year assignment as the inaugural CEO of the Airbus A3
Innovation Centre in San Jose, California, Eremenko previously worked
at Google, Motorola and DARPA. Much conjecture in Paris had it that
the autonomous electric VTOL single seat Vahana had been crafted
specifically for the needs of the Uber urban air taxi service which
Airbus A3 is known to have been working with. It is also envisaged
that Vahana will be used for cargo delivery. Much conjecture in Paris
had it that the autonomous electric VTOL single seat Vahana had been
crafted specifically for the needs of the Uber urban air taxi service
which Airbus A3 is known to have been working with. It is also
envisaged that Vahana will be used for cargo delivery.

VIEW GALLERY - 26 IMAGES

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