Volocopter, a German startup of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) has surprised by the rapid development of its eVTOL technology.
The company has already launched a delivery drone (VoloDrone) and an urban flying taxi, the VoloCity, and has just completed the first takeoff of the VoloConnect, a four-seat aircraft designed for distances of up to 60 miles (96 km).
VoloConnect made its first flights in May, Volocopter revealed during the UP.Summit, an event that brings together leaders in transportation innovation this week.
These are milestones nowhere near reached by other competitors, which at best have only tested prototypes of an eVTOL so far, not to mention those that are still in the early stages of development such as Embraer’s Eve.
VoloConnect is configured with six vertical rotors arranged in two side sets plus two electric fans ensure speeds of up to 155 mph (250 km/h).
According to the company, the eVTOL prototype took 17 months between the start of manufacture and the first flight, which lasted 2 minutes and 14 seconds.
Florian Reuter, Volocopter CEO, said:
“Having a whole family of electric aircraft in the test flight phase is a pioneering feat. Volocopter’s leadership in the industry stems from announcing plans and then delivering on them visibly with public test flights.”
Volocopter plans to put VoloCity into service in 2024 and VoloConnect in 2026.