June 8, 2022
Volocopter, which is developing urban air mobility systems, announced that its fixed-wing passenger aircraft, the VoloConnect, completed its first flight in May 2022. The company said it is the only electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) developer worldwide to have an entire fleet of distinct aircraft configurations undergoing flight tests.
The VoloConnect is the company’s third product solution, and offers further and faster journeys than other Volocopter aircraft. It features a range of more than 60 miles, and flight speeds above 155 mph. The plane’s extended range and higher payload aims to bring business travelers and commuters beyond the city center on routes such as Burbank to Huntington Beach, Calif., in order to fill demands for metropolitan flights and suburban connections in densely populated regions. Volocopter said it is targeting a 2026 entry into service for VoloConnect, with VoloCity (air taxi that serves intracity routes) targeting a commercial launch in 2024.
“Having a whole family of electric aircraft in the test flight phase is a pioneering feat,” said Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter. “Volocopter’s leadership in the industry stems from announcing plans and then delivering on them visibly with public test flights. Our technology platform is the foundation for our family of aircraft approach and has proven to deliver results at an astounding speed. Volocopter is bringing these innovative designs off the ground, into the air, and then to cities worldwide.”
Volocopter said it designed the VoloConnect and its other eVTOL aircraft to meet the highest aviation standards according to the European Aviation Safety Agency. The prototype completed its first flight in May 2022 after just 17 months in the making, and performed maneuvers for two minutes, 14 seconds during its flight. The system is a lift-and-cruise aircraft that aims to keep moving parts to a minimum, with six rotors facilitating vertical takeoff, with two electric fans in combination with uplift-creating wings to ensure high forward speeds. Additional testing will include low-speed, transition, high-speed and engine failure testing. WIthin the first three test flights of the system, Volocopter said it could verify a significant portion of the eVTOL’s envelop with forward speeds up to 40 mph and 28 mph sideward flight speeds during tests.
For more details on Volocopter and its technologies, visit its website here.