Airbus has signed an agreement with Spirit AeroSystems through its subsidiary for the development of CityAirbus NextGens wings, which will be designed and manufactured in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
This partnership will support Airbus’ exploration of disruptive aircraft design while complying with the most stringent regulations.
Spirit AeroSystems will be responsible for developing and manufacturing CityAirbus NextGen’s wings in Belfast. Both partners’ ambition is to achieve a minimum weight solution while ensuring the highest levels of safety. The structural concept of the eVTOL’s fixed wings will be able to transmit the related aerodynamic loads while being optimised for the right balance between hover and cruise efficiency. CityAirbus NextGen’s distributed propulsion system 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. “To build this vehicle, we are proud to work with Spirit as a strategic partner who benefits from a proven track record in this field, and extensive experience in component quality and airworthiness.”
With a significant UK footprint, particularly in Northern Ireland and Scotland, Spirit AeroSystems is one of the world’s largest suppliers of aerostructures, and builds on years of manufacturing expertise in major aircraft components and architecture solutions. Its longstanding relationship with Airbus includes the provision of fully integrated wings and wing elements for multiple Airbus commercial aircraft.
Extending existing collaboration between Airbus and Spirit AeroSystems, this partnership is a further sign of the Company’s commitment in the United Kingdom.
The fully electric CityAirbus NextGen is an eVTOL prototype 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 a 80km operational range and to reach a cruise speed of 120 km/h, making it perfectly suited for a variety of missions. Airbus is developing a UAM solution with eVTOLs not only to offer a new mobility service in urban areas and beyond but also as an important step in its quest to reduce emissions in aviation all over its product range.