Diehl Aerospace, a unit of German aerospace supplier Diehl Aviation, has signed a contract to develop and produce the primary and back-up flight control computers for Volocopter’s VoloCity eVTOL aircraft.

Making the announcement today (Thursday), Diehl Aviation said the agreement will ‘mark the company’s entry into the market segment of urban air mobility’.

A statement added: “While the company has firmly established itself as leading supplier of cabin interiors and aircraft systems to manufacturers of commercial aircraft and military platforms, the urban air mobility market has been identified as a perfect addition to its portfolio.

“Diehl Aerospace has a solid track record of providing flight control systems to major airlines and aircraft for decades and sees great prospects for applying its expertise in this field also to eVTOL platforms. The emerging urban air mobility market is expected to play a major role in urban mobility solutions in the future, particularly in combination with electric propulsion and mobile IT services.”

Diehl Aviation is a supplier of aircraft system and cabin solutions, with clients including Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer, as well as airlines and operators of commercial and business aircraft.

In addition to the application of its flight control expertise to the eVTOL platform, the company said it is also looking at new market potentials for other products within its portfolio, such as cabin interiors and integration capabilities.

Initial development work has started already at Diehl Aviation sites for the Volocopter work package, with certification of the Flight Control Computers for Volocopter expected for 2021. The first flight and entry-into-service of the VoloCity is expected within the next two to four years.

The VoloCity is being developed according to the high standards and requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). It is powered by nine rechargeable batteries, powering 18 motors, with a battery swap time of five minutes.

It has capacity for two passengers with hand luggage, and can travel up to 35km at a top speed of 110km/h.