Thursday, April 18, 2024

AutoFlight, Groupe ADP to experiment eVTOL use during 2024 Paris Olympics

AutoFlight has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Groupe ADP, an aviation operations expert, to experiment with electric take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) “Prosperity I” during the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games are set to serve as a global stage for innovation and progress, AutoFlight intends to showcase the potential of its 250km-range lift & cruise eVTOLs in scaling up advanced air mobility under real conditions, while Groupe ADP reinforces its commitment to fostering innovative air mobility. This collaboration aims to highlight AutoFlight’s potential in scaling up sustainable urban logistics and passenger transportation under real-world conditions.

Under this agreement, AutoFlight will conduct experimental piloted flights from the Pontoise Vertiport, which claims to be the most advanced of its kind worldwide. Pontoise Vertiport offers a comprehensive infrastructure encompassing dedicated take-off and landing areas, a state-of-the-art passenger terminal, a fully equipped maintenance hangar, and advanced control areas. At the same time, Groupe ADP is planning to add five more vertiports that will connect the entire Paris Region. Pontoise offers the optimal setting to experiment AutoFlight’s cutting-edge eVTOL technology.

AutoFlight’s Prosperity I fixed-wing aircraft is designed for short transfers between parts of a city, and airport commutes, connecting two nearby cities or enabling trips to the countryside while avoiding traffic on the ground. It claims a ‘world-record’ 155 miles (250 km) range and boasts energy consumption levels comparable to that of an electric car.

The company said the aircraft is one of only a few to have mastered the challenging ‘transition phase’ from vertical to horizontal flight, having done so hundreds of times. In optimal conditions, Prosperity I promises a top speed of more than 124 mph (200 km/h), similar to that of conventional helicopters.

“Through conducting experimental piloted flights from the Pontoise Vertiport, a best-in-class infrastructure operated by Groupe ADP, we aim to showcase the immense potential of Advanced Air Mobility,” said Mark Henning, Managing Director of AutoFlight Europe. “Our 250km-range eVTOLs will operate in real-world conditions, highlighting their capabilities in urban environments and their invaluable contribution to sustainable logistics and mobility. The 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games will be a global celebration, and we would take pride in AutoFlight’s technology being part of it. We are grateful to Groupe ADP for their collaboration.”

This collaboration is part of a broader framework of air mobility experiments that Groupe ADP gathered since 2020 in a unique ecosystem. It also contributes to the efforts of the Paris Region to position itself at the forefront of urban mobility.