Airbus to Release New Electric Air Taxi

Airbus Is Designing an eVTOL air taxi for zero emission flights
Read Time: 2 minutes
Aug 15, 2022

In September of 2021 at Airbus’ Pioneering Sustainable Aerospace summit in Toulouse, France, the company announced its latest CityAirbus, NextGen, which is an electric air taxi. The company plans to have the NextGen prototype ready for its first flight by 2023.

What Is Airbus’ NextGen?

NextGen is Airbus’ latest eVTOL aircraft. eVTOL stands for electric vertical takeoff and landing. This aircraft is designed for zero-emissions travel and can carry up to four passengers at once. It’s also remotely piloted.

Why Is Airbus Designing an Air Taxi?

Airbus’ goal with the NextGen air taxi is to create a new market for travel within a city. Many urban environments are facing issues not only with traffic but also with pollution. Using electric air taxis could help to solve both of those problems. Not only could those looking to travel within the city avoid the delays of driving while also experiencing more privacy than that available on public transportation, but the electric aircraft would produce zero emissions.

How Far Can NextGen Fly?

NextGen isn’t designed for long-distance flight. Its limit is 50 miles, or 80 kilometers. This would make it ideal for traveling across cities, but not for travel much farther beyond that. This aircraft is designed specifically as an air taxi to add to a city’s transportation options rather than for longer distances between cities.

How Fast Is the NextGen?

The NextGen can travel at speeds up to 75 miles per hour. This makes it faster than most available transportation options for cross-city traffic.

How Loud Is the NextGen?

a chart of decibel levels and examples of what types of noise are at each level

Decibel levels are a concern with any aircraft. This was one of the reasons why the Concorde and other supersonic aircraft were eventually discontinued. They were so noisy that people living below their flight paths or near airports complained about the sound levels. Aircraft noise is a prime concern with regulatory organizations that plan out new flight paths as well.

Keeping sound levels at a minimum is even essential if Airbus wants to create the market for eVTOL air taxis. To that end, the NextGen aircraft has a volume of 70 decibels during takeoff and landing and only 65 during flight. For comparison, normal city traffic usually has a decibel level of 85. 65 dB is classified as “moderate to quiet” noise.

When Will NextGen Be Available?

NextGen is the second generation of Airbus’ CityAirbus aircraft. The first generation was tested in 2019 with its first unmanned flight. As of the 2021 Airbus summit, NextGen was in the design phase. The company planned to have the prototype built and ready for testing in 2023.


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