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Airbus, Thales and Diehl collaborate on flight control for CityAirbus
Thursday, 25 November 2021
Airbus will develop the central flight control system, Thales the primary computing systems and Diehl the secondary flight control computer. The combined systems are critical to the safety of the eVTOL air taxi.

Airbus has signed a trilateral agreement with Thales and Diehl Aerospace for the joint development of the flight control computers of CityAirbus NextGen. The central flight control system of CityAirbus NextGen, the electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL) being developed by Airbus, will combine extraordinary computing power with lightweight design and highest safety standards.

Diehl and Thales are joining Airbus in investing into the emerging eVTOL market. Both partners are developing their own system that will be integrated into a dissimilar architecture to comply with the new EASA regulation for eVTOL. This architecture is essential to ensuring the redundancy of the computers and the vehicle's safety. The developments will be supported with public funding from the German and French governments, respectively.

Thales is responsible for the primary computing system, while Diehl is developing the secondary flight control computer. The system ensures that the second, independent flight control computer monitors the data of the primary computer system permanently, and it can also take over the flight control itself.

Thales has more than 40 years of experience in electrical flight controls, having supplied the systems for the first ever fly-by-wire commercial airliner, the Airbus A310. Diehl Aerospace, a joint venture of the French partner Thales and Diehl Aviation, has many decades of experience in avionics for civil and military aircraft and helicopters.

The fully electric CityAirbus NextGen was revealed in September 2021 at the Airbus Summit. It is equipped with fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and eight electrically powered propellers as part of its distributed propulsion system. It is designed to carry up to four passengers in a zero emissions flight in multiple applications. CityAirbus is being developed to fly with a 80 km range and to reach a cruise speed of 120 km/h, making it perfectly suited for operations in major cities for a variety of missions. It is optimised for hover and cruise efficiency, while not requiring moving surfaces or tilting parts during transition. Designed with simplicity in mind, CityAirbus NextGen will offer best-in-class economic performance in operations and support. The first flight of a prototype is planned for 2023. Airbus is developing a UAM solution with eVTOLS not only to offer a new mobility service for urban areas but also as a first step in its quest to reduce emissions in aviation all over its product range.

Contact details from our directory:
Diehl Aerospace GmbH Airborne Electrical Power Supplies, Aircraft & Helicopter Controllers, Aircraft Exterior Lighting Systems, Aircraft Interior Lighting Systems, Automatic Flight Control Systems, Cabin Heaters, Cabin Lighting, Control Panels, Electronic Control Equipment, Electronic Flight Instrument Systems, Emergency Lighting Systems, Engine Controls, Flap/Slat Mechanisms, Fuel Control Systems, Helmet-Mounted Displays (HMD), Inverters, Landing Gear Controls, LCD Displays, Non-Electronic Control Equipment, Onboard Airport Navigation Systems, Onboard Computers, Position/Displacement Detectors, Power Conversion Equipment, Power Distribution Equipment, Sensors/Transducers
Thales AVS France (was Thales Avionics S.A.) AC/DC Generators, Air Data Computers, Airborne Communication Systems, Angle of Attack Indicators, Automatic Flight Control Systems, Autopilots, Avionics Management Systems, Cockpit Printers, Collision Avoidance Systems/TCAS, Control Panels, Control Transformers, Electronic Control Equipment, Electronic Flight Instrument Systems, Emergency Locator Transmitters, Flight Management Systems, FLIR Systems, Frequency Converters, GPS, Head-Up Displays, Helmet-Mounted Displays (HMD), IFF Interrogators, Inertial Components & Systems, Inflight Entertainment, LCD Displays, Multi-Mode Receivers (MMR), Onboard Airport Navigation Systems, Onboard Computers, Pitot Tubes, Radar Transponders, Radar/Radio Altimeters, Radio Communications Equipment, Starters, Tacan Receivers, Transceivers
Airbus Helicopters Airframer
Related aircraft programs:
Airbus CityAirbus
Related directory sectors:
Flight and Data Management