Volocopter has conducted the first public flight demo of an eVTOL aircraft in France today (Monday), with its Volocopter 2x completing a three-minute flight at Le Bourget Airfield during the Paris Air Forum.
The flight demonstration, which saw the Volocopter 2X complete a 500 metre route at speeds of up to 30km/h, marks the beginning of a multi-step test and market development campaign in co-operation with the French Civil Aviation Authority to bring eVTOL aircraft to the Île-de-France region.
Volocopter also had its VoloCity model at the show, where attendees could also sit inside and get a detailed explanation of the benefits of electric air taxi services.
Florian Reuter, Volocopter CEO, said: “The first flight today in Paris highlights Volocopter’s commitment to bring air taxi services to this region in time for the 2024 Olympic Games.
“The alliance of the Paris region, Groupe ADP, and RATP Groupe and their intent to bring electric air taxis to France is a stellar example of the collaborative approach we see to be the most successful for adding this exciting category of mobility to cities globally.”
This isn’t the first time the Volocopter 2X has been on display to the public. The aircraft was at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in April, as part of Volocopter’s technology partnership with Geely.
In France, Volocopter was named the first vehicle and operations partner for the launch of the urban air mobility industrial branch in Paris in September 2020.
Now the company is planning to open a local office, recruit staff and expand local partnerships to ensure the new urban air mobility solutions meet local demands. Volocopter is also working on an agreement with Groupe ADP and RATP Groupe to collaborate for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO of GROUPE ADP, said: “Today, we were as close as never before in France to experience electric aviation. Volocopter is a vivid example of what the futures of aviation could look like, both carbon-free and innovative, that Groupe ADP wants to accompany thanks to our infrastructure assets, expertise, and know-how.
“Along with the other partners of the RE.Invent Air Mobility initiative, Volocopter is now ready to enter a first test flight campaign by September on the Pontoise Airfield sandbox we have been building up in the past months. And we are thrilled to be partnering with them, RATP Group and DGAC towards our objective of flight demonstrations in the Paris Region during the 2024 Olympic Games, to lay the foundation of a strong UAM industrial ecosystem in France.”
Marie-Claude Dupuis, Director of Strategy, Innovation and Development of RATP Group, added: “After having responded as the first player in the urban air mobility industry, in the context of the call for expressions of interest, we are very pleased that Volocopter has confirmed its development and its establishment in France. For RATP Group, this new mobility aims to complement our traditional transport modes.”
Volocopter is well advanced in the certification process with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for commercial launch. Last month, it revealed its long-range, fixed-wing eVTOL, VoloConnect at EBACE Connect and has so far raised more than €300 million in funding.
As the first and only eVTOL developer with Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from EASA, Volocopter’s approach to introducing urban air mobility services is to create an ecosystem where passengers and goods experience seamless connectivity with their cities via Volocopter’s mobility solutions.
Its aircraft portfolio includes VoloCity for intra-city connections, VoloConnect for city-suburb connection and the VoloDrone for cargo transport. In terms of infrastructure, its take-off and landing VoloPorts are all fully integrated on the digital platform VoloIQ.