Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM), has stood out in recent years for presenting different UAM ecosystem solutions: VoloCity air taxi, VoloPort vertiports, and its gigantic 18-rotor VoloDrone.
The German manufacturer of electric motor-driven air taxis has now unveiled its newest aircraft, VoloConnect, designed to work as an extension of our VoloCity urban air taxi services. This electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) will connect the city and suburbs in one swift, smooth, and emission-free flight, taking the urban air experience even further.
In contrast to the VoloCity with a flight range of 35 km, the VoloConnect will be a fixed-wing version with the retractable landing gear. The aircraft works with two propulsion fans plus six electrical motors and rotors. The resulting lift-and-cruise design is set to transport up to four passengers efficiently on routes of 100 km (62 miles) at a speed of 180 km/h (112 mph), with a top speed of 250 km (155 mph).
“VoloConnect embodies the next dimension of our mission to offer affordable, efficient, and sustainable flight mobility solutions for cities around the globe. Leveraging customer insights from our existing VoloCity and VoloDrone, VoloConnect’s capacity to support longer missions and higher payloads serves another strong growing market demand,” says Florian Reuter, Volocopter CEO.
Volocopter’s Munich-based team of experts, led by Chief Engineer Sebastian Mores, has been working on the aircraft for over two years and filed several patents for its technology. They are already flying multiple scaled prototypes of VoloConnect and are quickly progressing towards testing full-scale prototypes.
VoloConnect is currently still in the project stage. Feasibility could be demonstrated in test flights with scaled-down models, including the smooth transition between the flight phases.
“We are confident that this aircraft family, and the years of experience and leading innovation on which it’s founded, will pioneer the way for electric UAM services to launch commercially and internationally,” says Reuter.
A full-size aircraft is expected to take off in the near future. The CEO, Florian Reuter, expects to achieve certification of the VoloConnect by 2026. Meanwhile, its other eVTOL, the VoloCity, will enter passenger trials in 2023 in Paris or Singapore.