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Nikos Chatzis

 Eric Ferreira da Silva, head of engineering of urban air mobility (UAM) at Airbus Helicopters.

In the fast-paced world of UAM, a lot has changed since. The CityAirbus demonstrator has completed its flight test campaign, and the data from this program adds to what Airbus learned from the A3 Vahana eVTOL aircraft. The recently revealed CityAirbus NextGen can be seen as a blend of these two vehicles. I decided to check back with Eric to learn more.

Alex Scerri: Eric, when we spoke last year, you were very clear that the CityAirbus you were flight testing was a demonstrator. Can you be as emphatic today that CityAirbus NextGen represents the aircraft that you will be marketing?

Eric Ferreira da Silva: Yes, this will be the aircraft that will go to market.

Alex Scerri: If you look at the CityAirbus demonstrator and the A3 Vahana, how much of each has made its way into CityAirbus NextGen?

Eric Ferreira da Silva: The obvious change in the CityAirbus NextGen from the demonstrator is the wing, which will increase cruise efficiency. This comes from Vahana. From the CityAirbus demonstrator, we have retained the relative simplicity of a multicopter with fixed pitch rotors that control the aircraft by varying the revolutions per minute (RPM).