Airbus has selected Eaton and Crouzet to provide the electrical power distribution system (EPDS) and the human-machine interface (HMI) for CityAirbus NextGen. Their experience in electrical power management and flight deck controls will help integrate the two subsystems into the prototype’s architecture.
Airbus head of UAM procurement Stefan Hedtstück said: “From full electrification to advanced piloting, they are key partners in our mission to develop the features that will make our eVTOL a true game-changer for air mobility.”
As provider of CityAirbus NextGen’s electrical power distribution system, Eaton has mobilised its teams to create an optimal solution to deliver electrical power from the Airbus-designed batteries to eight electrical power units.
The power distribution system ensures that the eVTOL is flying safely, by compensating for any reduction in battery performance during flight, and will be integrated within the electrical propulsion system of the prototype.
Eaton general manager for engine solutions and electrification Tyler Ford explains: “The use of the latest generation electronic and protective components plays an important part in this endeavour.”
Crouzet will equip CityAirbus NextGen’s flight deck, having developed a human-machine interface concept that complies with the most stringent requirements for size, weight and safety, where the pilot manages the trajectory rather than the attitude of the aircraft.
The actual control of the propellers is then managed by the advanced flight control system, with the new piloting interface simplifying flight and reducing pilot workload.
Crouzet marketing segment leader Philippe Defrance added: “Airbus and Crouzet jointly designed a HMI that allows pilots to fly CityAirbus NextGen and to control peripheral functions such as the radio and the autopilot. We worked side by side with Airbus — a long term trusted partner — to shape the most ergonomic pilot control device.”
Krishna Jonnalagadda, senior VP and general manager of Eaton’s fluid and electrical distribution division, continued: “Eaton has a key role to play as an expert in power systems, selective coordination and power distribution, and we are providing to Airbus the latest of our innovative technologies and aerospace processes.”
In May last year, Airbus selected MAGicALL to supply motors for NextGen with a prototype using a tailored version of MagiDrive.
Earlier in March, Airbus signed an agreement with Spirit AeroSystems through its subsidiary to develop the wings of CityAirbus NextGen.