Home Science & Technology Electric air transport of the future: an air mobility initiative

Electric air transport of the future: an air mobility initiative

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To promote regional and urban air mobility, leading companies, universities and research institutions, as well as municipalities and organizations are joining forces to form the Air Mobility Initiative (AMI). The Institute of Flight Mechanics and Control (iFR) [de] at the University of Stuttgart is also a partner of the initiative. This initiative, funded by the Free Land of Bavaria and the Federal Republic of Germany, will provide an opportunity to create a series of research projects aimed at making electric air mobility within and between cities a reality. The joint projects are centered around three main areas: electric aircraft, air traffic control services and heliports, which means the necessary infrastructure on the ground.

More comfort in air taxis

Image: Airbus

“Future electric air vehicles must provide a high level of driving. Research and methods for quantifying and optimizing flight mechanical qualities are a major contribution of the University of Stuttgart to this initiative, ”said Walter Fichter, Professor of Flight Mechanics and Control.

The scientist explains that the design of air taxis is not focused on the pilot, but on passengers. Air taxis are designed for flights in cities, so turbulence is to be expected. Flying at low frequencies can quickly cause discomfort. This effect is called kinetosis (injection) and is comparable to seasickness.

The University of Stuttgart conducts research in the field of kinetosis. Researchers from iFR take a cable robot from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics and install it at the university in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. With this cable robot they can simulate the movement of aircraft with the help of subjects. Scientists can use the resulting measurements to create models that reflect the level of discomfort experienced when moving aircraft. Artificial intelligence techniques are also used here.

Urban air mobility of the future

“We will look at different elements of such an air transport system in realistic projects to get a clear idea of ​​the technical and regulatory requirements,” said Andreas Telman, head of the air mobility initiative. “Electric air transport can improve public transport, airports and mobility services that are important over time, it will be environmentally friendly, quiet and safe.”

Members of the Air mobility Initiatives include the University of Stuttgart, Airbus, the city of Ingolstadt, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Flugsicherung, Diehl Aerospace, Droniq, Munich Airport, the Red Cross and Telekom. In the first phase, AMI partners will consider the technological, infrastructural, legal and social preconditions for the future introduction of modern air transport. In the future, the knowledge gained will be implemented as part of a demonstration project in real conditions with an electric vertical takeoff.

Work on individual AMI projects began in January 2022. Test flights of the pilot project will be conducted in the region around Ingolstadt. The initiative is funded by a total of 17 million euros from the Free Land of Bavaria and 24 million euros from the federal government. Together with the industry’s own funds, it provides a total of 86 million euros over three years.

Airbus is responsible for the electric aircraft together with Diehl Aerospace, the University of Stuttgart and other partners. Components and systems for CityAirbus NextGen must be developed in this workflow. A large number of other partners deal with safe and efficient flights within and outside cities (Unmanned Traffic Management), as well as with take-off and landing sites (Vertiport) and its connection to other modes of transport.

Provided by University of Stuttgart

Contact: Professor Walter Fichter, Institut für Flugmechanik und Flugregelung, University of Stuttgart | Tel .: +49 711 685 67060 |
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