Volocopter Is Bringing Air Taxi Services to Europe in Record Time

Volocopter has partnered with SITA to develop IT systems for vertiports 7 photos
Photo: Volocopter
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The UAM (Urban Air Mobility) race is getting more exciting by the minute. At the moment, no air taxi has officially broken the ice, but that are several names in the industry getting very close. One of them is the Germany-based Volocopter.
There’s a special connection between the German aviation startup and Paris. In the summer of 2021, an eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) prototype known as the “Volocopter 2X” completed a three-minute flight during the Paris Air Forum.

Those three minutes were enough to cover 500 meters (0.3 miles) at 30 kph (less than 19 mph), with the prototype flying at an altitude of 30 meters (98 feet). It was a big moment for the emerging European UAM sector.

One year later, France became the home of a complex test site for eVTOLs, claiming to be one of the best on the continent. Once again, Volocopter was one of the names behind this milestone. In November 2022, a demonstration passenger flight was carried out to mark the inauguration of the test site.

Located at the Pontoise-Cormeilles airfield, close to Paris, it was considered the first fully-integrated vertiport terminal in Europe, doubling as a testbed for the technologies related to upcoming UAM operations.

Skyports was the one who designed the vertiport, and is also one of Volocopter’s main partners. The two have developed a platform called VoloIQ, meant as an operating system for future vertiports.

Finally, Paris is the place where Volocopter intends to officially kick off air taxi operations. The manufacturer’s air taxi, called the VoloCity, is set to take to the sky during the Paris 2024 Olympics. This is a highly-ambitious deadline, with most of the top eVTOL operators aiming for 2025 as the earliest launch date.

However, the German manufacturer seems to be on track for now. It has recently added another important partner to its investor list (SITA, an air transport IT provider) and it’s also close to obtaining certification for the VoloIQ.

As for the French authorities, they’re confident that Paris could become the first place in Europe to usher in this new era of air mobility. Italy is a serious contender, though. Volocopter is bringing the VoloCity air taxi here as well, where it will initially transport passengers between Rome’s city center and the Fiumicino airport.

The VoloCity is a two-seater claiming to be exceptionally quiet, thanks to the 18 rotors that stick to a narrow frequency range. Its motors are powered by nine rechargeable batteries, with Volocopter promising fast turnaround times thanks to its battery swapping system. The air taxi also boasts state-of-the-art avionics and flight controls, featuring up to 100 microprocessors.

Although its main focus is the European market, Volocopter is eyeing the U.S. as well. Back in 2021, it even claimed to have performed the first manned eVTOL flight in America.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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