Volocopter’s flying air taxi has made its official urban flight debut at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, on September 14.
The German-based urban air mobility provider has a goal of making city transportation safe, quiet, and emission-free by creating “air taxis” and an urban mobility ecosystem according to the company. The flying air-taxi startup received a $US30 million investment from Daimler in 2017 and completed a $US55.3 million funding round from Geely in 2019, according to The Verge.
The VoloCity, which is set to become Voloctoper’s first commercially licensed vehicle, can accommodate two people and hand luggage. It has a range of about 22 miles (35 kilometers), and an airspeed of about 63 mph (110 kmh).
Its 18 motors are powered by nine rechargeable batteries that can be swapped in about five minutes, which can help to minimise downtime. Its makers also claim the vehicle is quiet because the 19 rotors all operate in a “narrow frequency band” that sounds twice as loud as a single rotor.
Volocopter also plans on opening a “VoloPort” in Singapore by the end of the year. VoloPort will function similarly to an airport where passengers can check into their flights and spend time in lounges while waiting to enter the takeoff and landing grounds. There will also be an operations and services centre where the air vehicles can be maintained.
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The air taxi made its official urban flight debut at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, on September 14, pictured below.
The flying air taxi startup received a $US30 million investment from Daimler in 2017 and completed a $US55.3 million funding round from Geely in 2019, according to The Verge.
Volocopter made history in 2011 with the electrically powered vertical takeoff and landing manned flight, according to the company.
The VoloCity is set to become Volocopter’s first commercially licensed vehicle.
The flying vehicle will be the product of over 1,000 test flights from previous Volocopter iterations, according to the air-taxi maker.
The VoloCity can accommodate two people and hand luggage.
It has a range of about 22 miles (35 kilometers), and an airspeed of about 63 mph (110 kmh).
“The VoloCity is our most powerful Volocopter yet. It is a result of all insights we have gathered from our extensive testing programmes over the past years.” Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter said in a prepared statement.
Volocopter claims the vehicle is quiet because the 19 rotors all operate in a “narrow frequency band” that sounds twice as loud as a single rotor.
“With the VoloCity we will open the first commercial routes and bring Urban Air Mobility to life,” he continued.
Similar to Uber and Lyft, users will be able to order a Volocopter on demand using a smartphone.
There is an assistance system and over 100 microprocessors that allows for stability and control. If the pilot lets go of the control stick, the Volocopter will still maintain its position.
A Volocopter 75 meters away, about 246 feet, is as quiet as the smallest helicopter within 500 meters, about 1,640 feet.
Nine batteries power the 18 motors.
The lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and can be swapped in five minutes.
The company also claims that the VoloCopter meets the requirements of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s SC-VTOL certification standard.
Volocopter plans on opening the first “VoloPort,” pictured below, in Singapore by the end of 2019.
The port would serve as an air-taxi operations centre that features takeoff and landing grounds, preflight checks and passenger lounges, and an operations and services centre to maintain the Volocopters.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority signed an agreement with Volocopter in 2017 to allow the German company to test its autonomous air vehicles.