Volocopter’s evtol made its first live flight near Paris in November, and it is hoped that it will be able to carry passengers commercially over shorter distances in 2024, the year of the Paris Olympics.
The Volocopter 2X, an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft with 18 rotors, flew with a passenger on board from Pontoise-Cormeilles airport while other aircraft were in the airspace. The German-made vehicle, which is intended to offer fully automated transportation, still has a lot of progress to make in terms of creating necessary infrastructure and gaining public approval.
The company’s CEO, Dirk Hoke, stated that the vehicle will aim to receive certification within the next 18 months and hopes to begin commercial operations in 2024.
According to the test pilot, the Volocopter is much easier to control than a conventional helicopter because of its digital flight control system and the amount of rotors: ‘When you move a control in a helicopter, you are doing three things at once, which is a serious coordination exercise. This machine eliminates that difficulty, it has very simple controls for each axis, which makes it easier to fly.”
Volocopter claims that the current model of their machine has a range of 20 kilometers and can reach a top speed of 90 km/h. It is also quieter and less expensive than a traditional helicopter. There is significant competition in the market for low-altitude urban flying taxis, with several companies including Volocopter, Lilium, Jovy Aviation, and Airbus working to develop their own vehicles.