It’s a race to the skies in terms of which company actually deploys an on-demand air taxi service based around electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. For its part, German startup Volocopter is taking another key step with the revelation of its first aircraft designed for actual commercial use, the VoloCity.
The VoloCity is the fourth-generation eVTOL vehicle that Volocopter has created, but the first three were created for testing and demonstration purposes, and have flown more than 1,000 times in service of that goal. The VoloCity, an 18-rotor VTOL with a range of around 35 km (just under 22 miles) and a top speed of about 70 mph, is designed for transporting up to two people, including light luggage like backpacks, briefcases or purses.
Volocopter has paid close attention to safety and comfort with this design, meeting the safety standards set by the European Aviation Safety Agency, including a new stabilizer that hasn’t been a part of the test aircraft (to provide more stability during flight).
Now, Voloctoper says it’s turning its attention to infrastructure and ecosystem development, which includes establishing its “VoloPorts” for take off and landing, as well as working with cities on air traffic control. The company says it’s meeting already with global operators that serve this purpose, including Fraport, which runs the Frankfurt International Airport.
As for when VoloCity moves from render to reality, Volocopter says that it’s targeting a first public test flight for Q4 of this year in Singapore, where it’ll also show off the prototype of first first VoloPort, pictured in concept images below.