Multifunctional design, feasibility and requirements for structural power composites in future electric air taxis
Journal article, 2023

This study investigates the viability of implementing multifunctional structural power composites in a four-seater air taxi, the CityAirbus. For a given specific energy of the power source, the cruise endurance can be approximately doubled by using structural power composites as opposed to conventional batteries. Replacing all the eligible composite mass and batteries with structural power composites can reduce the CityAirbus weight by 25%. To achieve the current design performance, the minimum required elastic modulus, strength, specific energy and power for the structural power composite are 54 GPa, 203 MPa, 74 Wh/kg and 376 W/kg, respectively: current state-of-the-art structural power composites are now approaching this level of performance. Hence, structural power composites are considered feasible for adoption in the urban air mobility sector and have the potential to improve endurance and facilitate commercialization. This paper also discusses several key challenges that must be addressed to realize the adoption of structural power composites in future electric air taxis.


structural battery


structural supercapacitor

multifunctional design

electric air taxi

structural power composites


Aneesa Ishfaq

Imperial College London

Sang N. Nguyen

Imperial College London

Emile S. Greenhalgh

Imperial College London

M. S. Shaffer

Imperial College London

A. Kucernak

Imperial College London

Leif Asp

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Material and Computational Mechanics

Dan Zenkert

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Peter Linde

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science

Journal of Composite Materials

0021-9983 (ISSN) 1530-793X (eISSN)

Vol. 57 4 817-828

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Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Energy Systems

Marine Engineering

Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering



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