Volocopter has announced its VoloConnect fixed-winged passenger aircraft completed its first flight last month at the UP Summit, an annual gathering of leaders in transportation innovation hosted by investment firm UP Partners.
Volocopter designed the VoloConnect and other eVTOL aircraft to meet the highest aviation safety standards according to EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency). The prototype completed its first flight after 17 months in the making and performed a few manoeuvers for two minutes and 14 seconds.
The VoloConnect is a lift-and-cruise aircraft with six rotors to facilitate vertical takeoff, while two electric fans in combination with uplift-creating wings ensure high forward speeds.
A prototype is currently being put through a demanding series of flight tests, including standardised low-speed, transition, high-speed, and engine failure testing for automated and later autonomous flights.
Within the first three test flights, the team verified forward speeds up to 40 mph and 28 mph sideward flight speeds.
Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter, said: “Volocopter’s leadership in the industry stems from announcing plans and then delivering on them visibly with public test flights.
“Our technology platform has proven to deliver results at an astounding speed, with Volocopter bringing these innovative designs off the ground, into the air, and then to cities worldwide.”
VoloConnect offers further and faster journeys than any other Volocopter aircraft to date, with a range of over 60 miles and flight speeds above 155 mph, and is targeting a 2026 entry into service, while the VoloCity is targeting commercial launch in 2024.
For future services, Volocopter intends to integrate its three aircraft into individualised UAM ecosystems for cities and use its VoloIQ digital platform to unite all of the company’s flight operations, passenger services, maintenance, and more for a seamless mobility experience.
VoloConnect Chief Engineer Sebastian Mores added: “Seeing the VoloConnect soar to the sky marks the achievement of one of our key milestones and demonstrates just what we are capable of in a short time and in line with the company’s overall strategy for crewed and uncrewed aircraft.”
Last month, Jetex and Volocopter signed a strategic partnership agreement to deploy and operate permanent, economically sustainable, and integrated urban air mobility (UAM) taxi take-off and landing infrastructure, with Miami, Singapore and Paris where Jetex has already established its presence.
Two months before, Volocopter became the first eVTOL aircraft company to conduct both crewed and remotely piloted test flights in France, after its full-scale 2X prototype completed successful demonstrations at Pontoise Airfield near Paris.