Airbus presents their CityAirbus UAM

By Bjorn Fehrm

September 21, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Airbus helicopter division presented their entry for the UAM market today at the Airbus 2021 Summit in Toulouse.

It was a presentation of a vehicle and ecosystem that has been cooking for years. After two demonstrators that tested different aspects of eVTOL flight and thousand of hours on supercomputers and in wind tunnels, the final CityAirbus is here, Figure 1.

Its configuration is as unique as Airbus’ approach when presenting it.

Figure 1. Airbus UAM entry, the CityAirbus. Source: Airbus.

A rather different presentation of a rather different UAM

The presentation of the CityAirbus was different from the multitude of UAM launches we’ve seen over the last years:

  • It didn’t boast fantastic numbers for payload, speed, or range. It will transport one pilot and three passengers 80km (43nm) at a modest 120km/h (65kts).
  • It highlights sound as the most important parameter for its conception. It generates below 65dB(A) on flyover and below 70dB(A) during landing. Noise will determine if air mobility will be accepted in the cities according to Airbus.
  • It’s not a concept or even an early design. It’s in detailed design (check our Corner series about aircraft development to understand what this means) and will fly the first prototype in 2023, with Certification expected in 2025.
  • It’s not launched to the tune of “and we will produce thousands and conquer the market in X years.” Instead, the launch emphasizes that the key problems with UAMs are not the vehicle technologies but acceptability to a society where it adds an additional mobility layer, but it also adds inconveniences such as noise. If wrongly introduced, a UAM system risks rejection by society.
  • The introduction will, therefore, initially focus on clear benefit areas to society like faster medical transportation and mobility to areas that have none today. And the introduction will be step by step: “We are building a completely new ecosystem. It will take time and needs the cooperation of a lot of stakeholders. Do it wrong and it can misfire” says Airbus Helicopter CEO Bruno Evan.
A unique technical solution

The CityAirbus has a technical solution different from all other UAMs I’ve seen. Behind it lies over 200 flights with Airbus Vahanna and CityAirbus, where each demonstrator tested different parts of the UAM problem.

Vahanna explored vertical flight together with wing-borne flight, whereas CityAirbus focused on the operation of eight redundant lift propulsors in ground effect. It also explored the sizing problem known from helicopters. You can’t predict your problems using scale models as your challenges multiply with size. Therefore CityAirbus was large where Vahanna was not.

Airbus used these experiences together with thousands of hours with supercomputers and wind tunnels to study how propellers for VTOL generate noise but also how the stability of the propeller changes when you go from vertical propulsion to horizontal mode.

The result was a vehicle that has no movable parts except the rotors. Control of flight is 100% through an individual change of rotor RPMs. The CityAirbus has eight rotors with six working vertically from a main wing that also gives aerodynamic lift when flying forward.

Where it differs are the rear rotors which are canted to get a combined vertical and horizontal forward thrust. It means hovering is done with a slight tilt back to compensate for the rear rotor’s forward thrust component.

Forward flying tilts the CityAirbus forward until the speed of 120km/h is reached. The unique design is done to avoid the rotor propellers experience varying loads as this can cause propeller instabilities.

A realistic battery-based system

The CityAirbus is designed to be Certified to EASA Special Condition VTOL Enhanced Category. It gets its energy from batteries, and Airbus is realistic about this technology. It results in modest performance data, which is still described as a challenge for post-2025 introduction by Airbus.

Here is someone that dares say it upfront, with this technology, you cannot fly far and fast. You can fly 43nm at 65kts.

Airbus is not seeking investors to finance the project and, therefore, can avoid the overinflated claims that riddles this industry.

Can Airbus make it with the claimed performance and timetable? It’s the most realistic approach I’ve seen so far from this industry.

56 Comments on “Airbus presents their CityAirbus UAM

  1. The only area it might offer something in is Medical Evac missions. And that has the caveat of very restricted range . I can’t see details so can it handle a patient, pilot and a medical team?

    Almost all our medevacs are 50+ miles out of Anchorage (there are a few in the mountains behind the city though those tend to be the USAF rescue squadron mission)

    My brother is more typical, he broke his leg 100 miles North of Anchorage. Helicopter even though diverted from the S.E. 100 miles got there fast, then another 100 miles on into Anchorage.

    Otherwise its not the approach, its the question of, do we need this?

    We keep talking about mobility, a Taxi gives you excellent mobility at a reasonable cost. The cost to operate the so called Urban Mobility machine is going to be really really high.

    In this case, we are talking Ubber and Lift type. They cherry pick the customers off the top leaving the lower wage earners with no mobility.

    So, mobility where there is none? Where is that? Does that mean they are going to offer services to the Homeless in East Anchorage? (there is a nice open field next to one of the camping areas)

    And, we then have an added government cost to manage the air space these and the package drones operate in. What a nightmare.

    • @TW

      What’s with East Anchorage talk?

      One would guess that this type of machine is designed for urban density, not the outback

      Just going by it’s name alone would give you the clue

      Maybe…. just saying….maybe some one will come along and design a machine for the backbeyond

      • The PR statement says undeserved or not served.

        Outback would seem to qualify on the statement but not the range.

        • @TW

          The point is you are talking East Anchorage AB is talking Cityuam

          The difference between a city and the EA outback

          • And what areas of a city are undeserved ?


            More PR nonsense .

            In town Medevac? right mel.

          • Well, not all cities are as small as Anchorage 😏 For example, the LA metropolitan zone has an area of more than 20,000 square miles. And what about even more populous (and congested) cities like Tokyo, Jakarta and New Delhi? They’re “somewhat bigger” than Juneau 😒

  2. How does it handle a strong crosswind? It would seem like it would ‘weather vane’ acting more on the front of the aircraft, rather than the rear?

    • Multirotor generate yaw by changing the relative speed of rotation of the clockwise versus counter clockwise propellers. Complex moments occur during acceleration that are accounted for. If the aircraft ‘weather cocked’ due to cross winds acting on its tail fins the gyros on board the aircraft would pick the rotational acceleration and speed up and generate the countering torque to counter the yaw. Obviously there will be limits and at a certain point approaches in to the wind will be required.

      eVTOL should be easy to fly. They will be controlled by an autopilot using synthetic air data and inertial data and all commands will be processed by it. Perhaps a single joystick with left/right, forward,/backward, rotate for clockwise/ counterclockwise with a twist and thumbwheel for up/down.

      Interestingingly City Airbus will have translating tail props that when in the forward position could generate a powerful yaw through differential action to counter any ‘weather cocking’. Not sure if they can be used in this way.

      Electric aircraft can use their highly responsive engines to generate yaws through differential power which combined with rudder action would allow them to land completely parallel to runway while coping with cross winds. No need to ‘decrab’ at the end.

    • My Ural can go that fast!

      And I can get 140 miles before I have to start looking for fuel (40 mile reserve at econo speed)

          • Uhh guys!

            Ural continues to manufacture motorcycles out of Irbitz, updated, emissions compliant, probably 80s level cycle tech.

            Most of the cycle parts and pieces are sourced outside of Russian (sans the frame, sidecar pad)

            2WD and 1WD, I have a 1WD (cT) Model

            Like many businesses, once outside government control it does well.

            HG for Ural is Redmond Washington State, US.

          • @TW

            What’s a russian bike got to do with nothing at all – you guessed, or…

            Stay on topic – next up you’ll be talking about the woods and the bears and viva snow carts

          • GW:

            When you own the blog you can dictate the participation.

            Otherwise stick it in your ear.

          • Will do.

            As we used to say in the 70s, ( slight word twist not typo), here came da judge .

            – Flip Wilson or Richard Pryor at a guess.

          • @Scott Hamilton

            Thanks for this – the only way to staunch an endless flow of snowbear stories

  3. Medivac is less likely I feel but they may allow first responders to get to the scene faster simply because they could be more easily based close to fire brigade and Ambulance stations not suitable for helicopters now. EVTOL that are designed for good cruise are poor at hovering and those good at hovering have poor range.

    The volocopter good at hovering but limited in speed and range however it and similar aircraft (eg UK hoverfly) may have a niche in getting into tight space where blade strike is an issue.

    • MedEvac helos:
      you place the station for best coverage.
      A base at an infrastructure site does not make sense.

      Footprint for landing is surprisingly small.
      Issue is visibility. only VFR landings or
      on well lit places ( we’ve assembled equipment to “light up”
      a range of suitable places in our vicinity and trained for the case. Note that Germany is densely populated, distances are reasonable, the issue is congestion. Wheeled ambulances are placed for <13 minutes "Time to Target". )

      • In The Netherlands, “trauma helicopters” are used on a daily basis in medical emergencies — not to evacuate a patient to hospital, but to bring specialist trauma surgeons to the scene of an emergency, where they stabilize the patient (and, if necessary, perform emergency surgery) before he/she is transported to hospital by road ambulance. Noise is an issue which can curtail night time operations. The bases for these choppers are located in/near large urban areas, so flying distance/time is small.
        This Airbus product seems to fit this niche nicely.

        Apart from such uses, there will doubtless be “air limo” services for yups and wealthy individuals who want to avoid a slow trip through heavy traffic, or just want to make an impression.

        • That is an interesting MO. Not done in the US, its a med hold team for the injured to stabilize people (if possible) and med evac to hospital

          I would think Noise issue would be wavered for an Emergency Operation.

          One major issue in the US has been the crashes from those flights. Wrong decision to fly usually and then the cascade into a chain of events crash.

          My brother was extremely lucky weather was not a factor. I think he was 20 miles or more from the nearest road (he was linked up with a friend so not alone).

          His friend had an awful time getting his snow machine towed back to the trail head.

          • @TW

            Enought about your brother in the woods already

            This post is about City UAMs not snow carts

        • Volocopter is releasing an enlarged version of the volocopter called the Volocity. Two have been reserved by the German ADAC in 2023 to get trauma doctors or paramedics to scene for road accidents.

          The rotor diameter is 11.3m including props which is actually a little more than the powerful Airbus H145 helicopter. The two aircraft are not even close close in capability but the Volocity will have far less ground pressure which might be important in helping a drowning swimmer. Perhaps they’ll be used by life savers as the cost of operation will clearly be less than a standard helicopter.

          Perhaps we’ll see them on ships. If your a volcanologist and need to get close to a volcano with no fear of as infection these aircraft could do it. New crews and Police may prefer their silence.

      • Then you have to pay for new infrastructure rather than use the EVTOL to extend the range of coverage of existing. Obviously the compatibility of EVTOL with the urban environment will allow either approach.

        Regarding what trans world said on medivac. It’s clearly possible in a 4 seater but so is patient transport.

  4. These and similar projects are nothing more than “Fin-de-Bubble” phenomenon.

  5. Does anyone remember N6682D Boeing Vertol 107-II from Pan Am building in NYC to JFK (as seen in Coogan’s Bluff)?

    There may well be a market for a city centre / airport to airport transfer vehicle.
    KJRB to KJFK, KEWR for instance… 11nm around 10 minutes flight time?

    Perhaps EGLW to EGLL, EGKK or maybe EGLC to EGLL or EGKK. Transfers between EGLL and EGKK 22nm in around 20 minutes?

    • I remember the artwork. A smiling well chiselled jawed young executive dad man with a attaché case, coat and hat travelling to his family from a New York skyscraper. The artwork of the 1950s was fantastic, positive, futuristic. The cynicism where everything gets shot down just wasn’t there.

      A trip from Newark to “The Hamptons” at the end of long island is 96 statute miles/150km and could be done with Lilium Jet in 30 minutes. If the flight can be pilotless and main operating cost is a years battery replacement (say 4000 cycles) this would be economically viable. Helicopters are just too complex to maintain and fly or use as daily or even commuters.

      Two things need to happen
      1 Low maintenance and low operating cost.
      2 Pilotless flying between designated points with automated air traffic control. You just can’t afford to have a pilot or air traffic controller in the loop.

  6. It is a sensible start it sounds. Then comes the normal increase in payload and range with time. It does not mention systems installed for pilotless flights.
    Many need capability to fly into known icing conditions and difficult weather so hopefully it is solved already. With low noise and limited propwash it limits “brown-outs” and hopefully can it be proven in saving lives in cities and highways.

  7. I think we all can agree that costs will be very high, operational and technical limitations are all around and the applications probably limited.

    Serious engineering, flight safety and technology is injected by a powerhouse, instead of optimism, opportunism and venture capital by briliantly naive enthousiasts.

    That’s somehow positive. Airbus probably sees this as a research project adding to their knowledge on electrical power, redundancy, FbW, material, noise management etc.

    More of a long term R&D investment than a prototype of many to come, hunted by overpromised expectations, promises.

    A next step along the lines of the X3, E-Fan and Alpha Two.

    • keesje:

      Valid points but the context or the goal is what?

      All I see is an extraordinarily expensive dead end that cherry picks (if even they can afford it) the wealthy leaving vast majority with more taxes to support them.

    • eVTOL is well thought through. Let me deal with the issues.
      1 Safety: Unlike helicopters eVTOL UAM will have no highly stressed single point of failure gear boxes, tail rotors, rotors, with damped articulated hinges and linkages. There are just multiple fixed pitch propellers with one moving part. Citybus should be able to loose 3 propellers on one side and still fly, maybe even 4 (though it might be a controlled fall) because the 2 tail props can provide roll and pitch control.

      The above mean low and simple maintenance, lower cost and high safety.

      Lilum Jet will use 6 batteries (perhaps more). If batteries fail they are isolated and the mission continues. Passengers probably won’t even know or need to know.

      eVTOL will be fully fly by wire, always in ‘normal law” and so will not require enormous and complex piloting skills. No autorotation skills to learn , no manoeuvring skills. They gyros and accelerometers will handle it all. It already all fits into an iPhone.

      Many UAM propose a ballistics parachute. There are clearly already successful in light aircraft of the same weight class.. They might try rocket extracted explosively inflated types to given them zero zero capability like an ejection seat.

      2 Cost. What makes eVTOL safe also keeps cost down. Battery costs may be an issue but they will be dealt with by a swap out.

      eVTOL in urbane environments seem to be able to complete 3-4 times more journeys than a taxi/rideshare and this will keep costs down further.

      Air Traffic control should be possible through the 5G network which is designed for this.

      Booking and payment via cell phone.

      To get costs down they will need to be pilotless. This should be possible from eVTOL landing station to another though obviously not at random destinations. Pilotless also adds an extra passenger and eliminate the hijacking and security issue. A Hijacker can be flown straight to jail.

      • William:

        I would call that a Pyramid scheme of assumptions.

        To what end? An solution looking for something that is answered and no benefit.

        And no, ATC is not going to be run via 5G.

        • Explain what ‘assumptions’ there are.
          1 The only moving parts on eVTOL are low stress, no gearbox electric motors and propellers. Nothing more than roller bearings that will likely have vibration and temperature sensors in them. That’s not an assumption. A few higher end models may have translating fans or props. Conclusion, no assumption.

          2 The 5G network, which means 5th generation (they’ve had time to think it through), was designed to communicate with drones, light aircraft, to direct drones and help drive self driving cars. It’s performance is such that it can replace WiFi in factories and allow robot vision from two 4K cameras simultaneously. Unfortunately journalists who explain 5G in terms of how quickly a movie can be downloaded really do this a disservice. Conclusion no assumption.

          We simply can not bring down costs without eliminating human traffic controllers and pilots (for the most part). We can not bring down costs by using specialist equipment based on existing aviation technology which are cumbersome, expensive and primitive. Pilots will be needed only when landing in non designated landing locations. Electronic flight plans, deconflicted flight plans and traffic management is possible.

          3 Multiple redundant batteries for eVTOL is no an assumption. Its a fact.

          There will be baby steps at first. There will be pilots. There are already pilotless drones (which don’t cause serious damage due to their small size if they theoretically crashed. There will be issues. Initially the technology will work with delivery drones, starting of with medical.

          • @ William
            From earlier discussions here, it has transpired that many US commenters are not (adeqiately) aware of the huge spectrum of 5G applications outside of cellular telephony. While factories in Asia and Europe are busy implementing 5G systems in their workflow, others are scratching their heads and wondering what all the fuss is about…

  8. The problem with two short a range is it may not be able to do it’s primary mission of worthwhile time saving over a worthwhile distance. One of the issues for volocopter in transporting a traveller from a premium hotel in central Dubai to the airport was marginal range (there was adequate range) but the time needed to recharge at each end. The solution for volocopter is exchangeable battery packs that could be optimally charged.

    Lilium jet is targeting not UAM urban air mobility but RAM regional air mobility with a range of 250km/140nmi. The technology will require 300+ watt hour batteries able to discharge at the 6 minute rate. (Only a few seconds will be needed at takeoff and landing).

    UAM will provide the ability to turn a 35 minute drive into a 10 minute flight or 70 minute drive into a 20 minute flight.

    Lilium could do those flights in 1/3rd the time. Lilium could cover 150km in 30 minutes.

    The above start looking like worthwhile gains.

    Lilium has signed a contract with a custom battery maker. I do not think they will fail. I think worst case they will initially have batteries that will have 1/2 the energy density and therefore half the range but they will have the requisite power density and that will be enough to get started.

    • @William

      You have made up the figures you use in your comparison between drive time and flight time

      You (I mean it) may be able (possible) to assess flight time in say parts of Guangdong (or…etc) with a fair degree of accuracy, but drive time you may not : it will vary at different times of the day, is eminently un predictable in peak traffic hours, and is always going to get longer not shorter in the future

      Even in cities of miraculous efficiency – and especially in cities of the opposite, NY Sao Paulo Mumbai Lagos (etc)

      You sould also include security in your calculations – every one else does, especially those rich enough to afford to fly

      • I didn’t ‘make figures up’ I used typical average traffic speeds in my city and some basic distance over time calculation. You should try figures and calculations one day but I suppose that might make you vulnerable to criticism.

        Traffic speed here in Sydney are about 30-35kmh during the 7am to 9am peak. One could get a 70kmh but I’ve never seen it and that involves using sections of freeway. motorway which can be time consuming to get to.

        The cruise capability CityBus is 80km (43nm) range at 120km/h (65kts).

        Lets do a thought experiment of a 50kmh flight from the Airport: The Citybus will do it in 25 minutes. A Car will need to travel 20% further (60kmh) and if averaging 70kmh will require 52 minutes.

        Runs closer to the city, say 20.8 km from the the international terminal of Sydney airport by freeway tunnels to Sydney Olympic Park where there are hotels, stadiums and convention centres for speakers and concerts.

        Google maps tells me 28 -31 minutes at midday A direct flight is 70% the distance (15km) and could be completed by Citybus in about 8 minutes.

        Another example: Sydney Airport to Palm Beach (over the harbour in the North). It’s 58km drive, about 46km direct. The drive will take hr 12 minutes, the flight 24. minutes.

        Certainly a well healed tourist will fit more in, a business traveller will have more time and rock star can stay in a nicer place.

        Security will be an issue in the piloted versions. The non piloted will have few issues, non really. UAM’s operating airside of an airport will have few issues with security and certain UAM landing sites will likely offer check in security that will allow them to deposit their passengers airside fully checked in.

        The intention is to have UAM operate seamlessly with other modes of transport. Obviously a rideshare car will be there for immediate use after landing but UAM will work seamlessly with airports, rideshare, Very Fast Trains etc.

        • @William

          What’s the point of using traffic speeds in ‘your’ city – if you do you should be upfront : say ‘based on average traffic speeds in…’

          These are unvaried and predictable? I’m not sure that Sydney is spared the snarls that regularly engage all other cities

          If you want to (seriously) analyse use and cost and time in, say, Sydney – then say so and do so : add in a comparison with…Mexico City… to make it relevant

          If not you are selling the same old bear in the woods story i.e. Your personal experience passed off as universal as the common everyman failing

          My guess is that CityUAM are (most) useful and (very) saleable not in Alaska nor Australia, but Manila, Sao P, etc the sort of places where traffic is hell and security, in the old fashioned put the gun away, is at a premium

          The Sydney City model is irrelevant and unapplicable here

          Else places like Dubai, Sing, Mumbai, and so on -where this gadget will be seen as a premium toy for Executive Gold Card Members, tourists, and money launderers

          Maybe one day (hopehopecrossedfingers) China wedding couples at the Opera? The casinolighthouse in Byron?

          • For readers in the US, one only has to consider the daily road traffic mayhem in the SF Bay , LA and NYC areas; since all of those areas are also replete with yups, one can envisage a sky full of these vehicles. After all, one doesn’t want to be late for that appointment at the plastic surgeon, or awards gala 😉

          • @Bryce

            Yes – for the yuppies AB can do an AOC colour scheme
            Fly the Rich logo red on white, just the right puppy to take to the Met

          • You hold me to a higher standard than yourself.

            Sydney is a perfect test case as its is a medium-large (say 4 million depending on how you define a suburb) fairly well planned western city that has challenges from hills, harbours and rivers.. Average traffic speeds are just over 70kmh in the 6am-10am peak though some figures quote 38kmh. The differences likely represent different times and areas. A number of road tunnels have been opened recently and have made a big difference.

            If it is attractive in Sydney then it will be attractive in other larger, denser more congested cities.

            Sydney’s traffic problems are clearly less than that of the mega cities in the 10-20 million range and those poorly planed because developers are allowed to build 1000 occupant offices and high rise without subways and subterranean roads funded.

            Either way a 120kmh eVTOL will cut travel times by a factor of between 2-4.

            We also can’t tell how they will be used and by whom. Cell phone use was not by business executives but tradesmen and personal users with busy schedules.

            Obviously Airports, high end hotels, dedicated UAM ports. VFT stations, convention and entertainment centres.

            Then there are medical use such as patient or medical specialist transport between hospitals and getting first responders to scene.

            It may even turn out that they will work best in country and regional areas.

            Airbus is right to focus the introduction on paramedical type applications so that there can be a slow introduction and acceptance.

            Volocopter has the sound of a beehive and can not be heard above city noise at 100m. I suspect anechoic surfaces and a 2.5m fence around UAM landing pads will mitigate vestigial issues.

          • @William

            You come clean is good

            I hold you only to the standards you proclaim, by your provision of facts and figures with intent to form an argument with them

            Sydney is indeed the standard everyman ‘Western city’, but I see no reason to assume that AB have used this as a prime format or target, no reason to suppose AB think like you, and no reason assume a primary or at least base use for this AirCityBus – in your case airport downtown

            No matter how many tunnels, traffic flows in Sydney are varied and variable – although perhaps I should flip the argument and say that you demonstrate, if this is your intent, that AB designed this vehicle not for Sydney, where little or less needed (except maybe for a quickie to Palm Beach)

            (I think) It’s for the larger messier more dangerous places, which premium time and especially security, and for expensive ‘fun’ – Sydney was a standard western city funspot for the…until…oh damnit – how ! assumptions crash and burn

            This box format thinking about technological development as eternally paradigmed on Western conventional thinking, standard structures and/or markets is out of date

            It should not be necessary to remind you that those smallbox ways have led to the current impasse – out of which to get it will be essential to discard the old conventional and try summat new

  9. Interesting, there must be a big energy saving advantage to having a wing to provide lift, versus a central pod surrounded by eight or so lifting rotors.
    It seems to look right for it’s intended design. But I guess it is hard to judge by looks when a technology is new. A lot of potential aircraft designs looked right pre 1900, but obviously weren’t the ticket.

    • YEs, many are moving away from scaled up quad-/octa- copter to a mix of helo and aircraft with a better glide ratio and hence range. Lilium was one of the first. As some of there aircrafts get certified new applications will come and the race for better payload/range will intensify as it is now with electrical cars. The breakthrough will be when they will be pilotless and controlled by ATC where you just select your destination, buckle up and wait for the green light indicating ATC has started your preprogrammed flight to the next helipad with skybar and high power DC charging.

    • Just looking at Volocopter’s “Volocity” proposal to the current volocopter it would seem that adding horizontal propulsion and small wings increase both speed and range by a factor of 2.5-3.0 . Citybus interestingly has tilt propellers at the rear. Apart from providing forward propulsion I see them as adding a tremendous amount of pitch and roll control in hovering flight that will assist in providing extra redundancy and stability. EASA has developed an special conditions category for small vtol aircraft.

    • Having to cope with compensating for induced drag versus having to provide lift against 1g.

  10. It’s like your SmartPhone, it will get more 10x capable every 2 yrs and the new economy provides unlimitted opportunities!

    Not.. this is aviation. A Tesla losing power, overheating is not the same as an aircraft above a city. One of them is an unacceptable risk.

    Authorities won’t relax requirements, contrary, ask Boeing.

    Noise IS an issue. Does it consume 40x as much energy as a car? Is this a solution for something, or a new problem?

    Personally I’ve been sad laughing about all the “smart” flying cars of the last 50 years, also the latests. Amazing money pits, all of them.

    • @keesje

      I think you are right

      This is an corporate class fantasy or a luxury tourist resort

  11. The Uber Elevate White paper argued that the majority of eVTOL users will be “Super Commuters” who will commute an average of 100 miles/160km. 80km would be the minimum range. They also analysed that there wouldn’t be time to charge batteries and so they would need to be swapped out.

    Clearly City Airbus can’t serve the super commuter very well with a range of 80km.

    Volocopter also analysed the market. Their Volocopter is not strictly eVTOL but rotor craft and they target for instance the 30km from CBD to Airport. For instance a 1 hour 12 minute drive from Canary Warf to Heathrow is reduced to 8 minutes on a VoloCity.

    The ambitious aircraft that could fulfil the 160km range requirement would seem to be
    Lilium,(German) Joby(USA) and Vertical(British) with a few others from Embraer.

    They’ve all received MoM of hundreds of aircraft and billions of dollars from blue chip airlines.

    The 120km/h 80km range CityAirbus might get things started despite its limited performance.

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