German aviation startup Volocopter carried out the first-ever public crewed test flight of a fully electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi in the United States. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture 2021 flight in Wisconsin is part of Volocopter’s plan to raise awareness of air taxis among populations around the globe. Public acceptance is critical to the long-term success of delivering advanced air mobility (AAM) and urban air mobility (UAM) solutions.
The test flight took place at Wisconsin’s Wittman Regional Airport as part of EAA’s AirVenture aviation celebration. The crewed Volocopter 2X flew in the sky for four minutes, reaching an altitude of 164 ft (50 m) and a top speed of 18 mph (29 km/h).
“Volocopter successfully conducting the first US public manned test flight of an eVTOL company in the US is a milestone for the industry and a reminder that our commercial launch is fast approaching,” says Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter. “We can talk about our lead in certification, low noise emissions, and global partnerships all we want, but nothing shows just how close we are to launch UAM as a service, as does flying an air taxi in front of crowds and inviting people to sit in our aircraft. Air taxis are coming, and we are working to bring electric flights to cities around the globe in the next two to three years.“
Volocopter has been building its family of electric aircraft for passengers and goods. This aircraft family includes aircraft for both long and short distances within cities and beyond, such as VoloCity and VoloConnect flying taxis and VoloDrone heavy-lift drones.
The company has ten years of experience, over 1,000 test flights, and public flights in Paris, Singapore, Helsinki, and Dubai. It is currently jumping through the many hoops needed for certification of the commercial launch of its air taxi service in Europe and the US.