Airbus chose a California company, MAGicALL, to supply the motors for an “electric vertical take-off and landing” aircraft (eVTOL) concept it is developing. The CityAirbus NextGen is described as an all-electric, four-seat eVTOL multicopter that features a wing, and will offer an 80-km range and a cruise speed of 120 km/hr.
The CityAirbus NextGen will have customized versions of MAGicALL’s lightweight brushless motors, called MAGiDRIVE, that will incorporate the developer’s magnetics and power electronics technology.
The first flight for the four-seat aircraft concept is planned for 2023.
“The electric motors are a major component of our prototype,” according to Joerg P. Mueller, Airbus’ head of Urban Air Mobility. “The high torque and low weight of the MAGiDRIVE as well as its robust design will be highly beneficial for the overall efficiency of the aircraft.”
Airbus also said the electric motors will contribute to the architecture of its eVTOL prototype, with a fully integrated design comprising both the motor itself and its control system as part of a fully enclosed, air-cooled propulsion unit.
eVTOLs, sometimes referred to as urban air taxis, are electric-powered aircraft able to hover, take-off, and land vertically. In addition to Airbus, various developers have eVTOL projects underway, including Boeing, Embraer, Honda, and Toyota.Airbus introduced the CityAirbus NextGen fully electric eVTOL prototype last September, aiming to offer mobility as well as to reduce emissions in aviation. Airbus has been developing electric propulsion aerial vehicles since 2014, and it sourced MAGicALL electric motor technology for a tilt-wing Urban Air Mobility (UAM) demonstrator, called Vahana.