Friday, April 19, 2024

Volocopter seeks FAA approval to bring its electric air taxis to U.S. cities

German electric air-taxi startup Volocopter is seeking FAA approval to operate its vertical takeoff aircraft in the U.S. cities concurrently with its EASA Type Certification to accelerate its worldwide expansion.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has positively accepted their application for concurrent Type Certificate validation. This sets the basis for Volocopter to bring their electric air taxi services to the American market.

The VoloCity, Volocopter’s electric air taxi, is designed to meet the highest aircraft safety standards and growing demand for better intra-city mobility in large cities like Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., among others.

The company plans to inaugurate commercial operations in Singapore in the next three years, with tickets for a 15-minutes flight on the company’s VoloCity aircraft. The VoloCity is equipped with a ring frame with 18 propellers positioned above the hull. The device can carry passengers or goods weighing up to 200 kg. At maximum load, the flight range of the air taxi is 35km (about 22 miles) at a speed of 110km/h (68mph). The two-seat model, powered by multiple electric motors, performed its first manned test in 2011 and has since experienced more than 1,000 test flights.

Volocopter is currently working with EASA on certification for a commercial launch planned in the next 2-3 years. The EASA approval and FAA validation will position them to enter the electric air taxi market first and pave the way for the UAM industry to expand services globally.