Airbus, one of the leaders in the aviation industry, recently outlined their intentions for the UAM industry at the SciTech Forum of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in San Diego. Head of UAM at Airbus, Eduardo Domínguez-Puerta, began by outlining the numerous reasons for UAM to expand.
First, Domínguez-Puerta emphasized the importance of the value chain — Urban Aircraft, Support & Service, Flight Operations, Air Traffic Management, Ground Infrastructure, Passenger Software Solutions — of the UAM industry, in which every sector must be successful for the UAM to be successful.
To address these issues, Domínguez-Puerta prioritized the Airbus UAM portfolio with these projects:
- Skyways — a managed “system of systems” in the Port of Singapore acting as an Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM or U-space) learning project
- Voom — a traditional helicopter taxi service in Brazil and Mexico using an Uber-style business model.
- Vahana — a self-piloted eVTOL demonstrator: a one-passenger autonomous, distributed electric propulsion, tilted-wing vehicle.
- CityAirbus — A 4-passenger wingless quadcopter with ducted rotors
- Pop.Up — a 2-passenger car chassis/nacelle/rotors concept vehicle.The nacelle flies as a VTOL and can transform into a self-driving car.
Finally, safety is a huge concern for Domínguez-Puerta, who asserted that UAM vehicles need to be as safe as commercial aviation to be accepted by the public. “I don’t think the startup approach — fail fast, fail cheap — works with aviation,” says Domínguez-Puerta,“Cities will only allow greener and quieter vehicles to operate.” eVTOLs, equipped advanced, safe, and environmentally friendly options, like distributed electrical propulsion, lighter materials, and advanced avionics that optimize aircraft control and communicate with Air Traffic Management systems, will be massively beneficial for the UAM industry, according to Domínguez-Puerta.
Why it’s important: Domínguez-Puerta expressed the vital importance of Airbus exploring the UAM industry. Highlighting classic examples of market leaders being uprooted by disruptors like Apple or Uber, the interest of traditional aviation giants such as Airbus and Boeing is huge for the UAM industry, and the strong investments, network development, and engineering talent provided by these companies will be immensely beneficial for the growth of the UAM industry.
Source // the C-drone review