UAM pioneer designs eVTOL aircraft and the ecosystem to support them.
Bruchsal, Germany-based Volocopter has set its sights on pioneering all-electric urban air mobility (UAM) with a variety of aircraft and the ecosystem to operate them. The company is planning to launch electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) services including its VoloCity two-passenger electric air taxi, VoloRegion lift-and-cruise long-range four-passenger aircraft, VoloDrone heavy-lift cargo drone, as well as the physical and digital infrastructure required to operate the aircraft.
Volocopter opened its production facility in April 2023 in Bruchsal, where it will complete assembly of the VoloCity and conduct final testing of the aircraft. The company received European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) production certification for the aircraft in 2021 and plans to launch commercial eVTOL air taxi services with the VoloCity in Paris by summer 2024. Volocopter’s production facilities have the capacity and regulatory approval to assemble more than 50 VoloCity aircraft a year.
Volocopter envisions the VoloCity as a quiet, emissions-free transportation option designed to be faster and more convenient than conventional transportation in today’s congested cities, able to move easily between key transportation hubs such as train stations and airports.
Although the initial plan for the two-seat, 18-rotor VoloCity is to operate with a pilot and a passenger, the company hopes to eventually transition the ship to provide fully autonomous service for two passengers. The VoloCity features a range of 21.7 miles (35 km) and a maximum gross weight of 440 lb. (200 kg) and can fly up to 68 mph (109 kph).
The VoloRegion has four seats and can fly up to 60 miles (97 km) at 155 miles per hour (249 kph). This larger aircraft conducted its first flight in June 2022 and is on a timeline to enter service in 2026.
Volocopter engineered the uncrewed, all-electric, utility VoloDrone to offer heavy-lift services to a variety of industries. The aircraft will be able to carry payloads of up to 440 lb. (200 kg) and travel up to 25 miles (40 km).
Volocopter is also developing an ecosystem to support its new aircraft. Elements of the system include the company’s VoloIQ cloud-based platform and the VoloPort vertiport.
VoloIQ is designed to synchronize Volocopter’s operations in real time, from aircraft operations to integration efforts, weather tracking, and a passenger app. The VoloPort vertiport, which Volocopter is developing for transportation hubs, measures about the size of two tennis courts. The modular, flexible, cost-efficient vertiport will use minimal infrastructure to help it support operations in dense urban areas.
Volocopter is working closely with local partners on these ecosystem projects to define routes, conduct test flights, increase public education, work with regulators as rules are defined, and rally support for UAM transportation.