The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Spirit AeroSystems Will Make Wings for CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL Aircraft

Spirit AeroSystems will develop and manufacture wings for the CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL aircraft. Under an agreement announced with Airbus on March 9, the U.S.-based group will conduct the work at its factory in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Working with the Airbus Helicopters design team that is taking the lead in developing the five-seat lift-and-cruise vehicle, Spirit’s engineers have been tasked with minimizing the weight of the wings. Their aim is to optimize wing structures to transmit aerodynamic loads to achieve a balance between hover and cruise. Airbus says its distributed propulsion system will contribute to reducing turbulence.

The CityAirbus concept unveiled by the European aerospace group in September 2021 features a V-shaped tail and eight sets of electric motors and propellers. The company aims to start flying a full-scale prototype in 2023 and achieve type certification in 2025. The all-electric vehicle will carry up to four passengers on flights of up to 80 km (50 miles) and at speeds of 120 km/h (75 mph).

“The partnership with Spirit AeroSystems is an important step for the development of the CityAirbus NextGen and its wings are key structural components for flight efficiency,” said Jorg Muller, Airbus’s head of urban air mobility. “To build this vehicle, we are proud to work with Spirit as a strategic partner who benefits from a proven track record in this field and extensive experience in component quality and airworthiness.”

Spirit produces aerostructures for multiple aircraft manufacturers, including Airbus, Boeing, and Bombardier. In 2020, the company acquired Bombardier’s Belfast facility, which makes wings for the A220 airliner (formerly the CSeries) and several airframe structures for the Canadian group’s Challenger and Global Express business jets.