Iron Bird Power On: CityAirbus Reaches Next Milestone

The CityAirbus programme has reached another important milestone: the completion and “power on” of the “iron bird” ground test facility in Taufkirchen, Germany. This enables the verification of the entire electric propulsion system of CityAirbus, developed by Airbus’ E-Aircraft Systems unit.

The first full electric propulsion test bench has the capability to operate the propulsion system chain from flight controls to the dynamic loads of the propellers. This allows the verification of the electric, mechanical and thermal dynamics. After being maturated and verified on the iron bird, the propulsion system will be embedded on the demonstrator by mid-2018.

The test bench configuration reflects the CityAirbus architecture including motors, power electronics and distribution boxes developed and produced by Siemens in the frame of the cooperation agreement between Airbus and Siemens on electric propulsion.

Meanwhile the development of the CityAirbus demonstrator itself is on-going. The first structural parts have already been produced and are on the way to being assembled. These important development steps pave the way to the CityAirbus’ first flight before the end of 2018.

CityAirbus is a multi-passenger, self-piloted battery-powered vertical take-off and landing vehicle designed for urban air mobility. It is designed to carry up to four passengers over congested megacities in a fast, affordable and environmentally friendly way.

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Source: Airbus Press Release

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