European aircraft manufacturer Airbus unveiled plans for its newest electric flying taxi — another future competitor in the expanding electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft market. 

The first flight of Airbus’ newest eVTOL is expected to take off in 2023 and the manufacturer hopes it will be certified around 2025.

“We are on a quest to co-create an entirely new market that sustainably integrates urban air mobility into the cities while addressing environmental and social concerns,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO, on September 21, 2021.

Many manufacturers are investing in plans for electric taxis, seen as a way to ease congestion and pollution in crowded cities.

The prototype Airbus eVTOL, called CityAirbus NextGen and currently in the design phase, will have a range of 80 kilometers and will be able to reach a cruise speed of 120 kilometers per hour. 

It is not the first eVTOL Airbus has been developing. In November 2019, Airbus Vahana, a single-seat eVTOL demonstrator, took off for its final test, bringing the flagship program to its end. Meanwhile, CityAirbus, an all-electric, four-seat, multicopter vehicle demonstrator, took off for its first full-scale test flight in May 2019. 

According to Airbus, the Vahana and CityAirbus eVTOLs together have conducted 242 flight and ground tests and have flown around 1,000 kilometers in total.

“We have learned a lot from the test campaigns with our two demonstrators, CityAirbus and Vahana”, said Even. “The CityAirbus NextGen combines the best from both worlds with the new architecture striking the right balance between hover and forward flight.”

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