In three years, the German Volocopter would operate its urban air taxis in Singapore, and in the longer term, cross-border flights are also planned.
In October 2019, one prototype of the company’s purely electric-powered, purely electric aircraft, driven by many small engines, ascended and landed vertically, completed a manned flight over downtown Singapore. Based on this, and supplemented by further tests, the way was opened for commercial operation in the Far Eastern mini-state to begin in the foreseeable future.
Volocopter said in a statement that it was a great help to the company that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Singapore Civil Aviation Authority (CAAS) had recently forged closer ties.
It is planned that from 2023, the city and the world’s first air taxi route will run in the southern part of the city, partly above water, focusing mainly on tourists. Not only does the German company want to build the widest possible network within the city: longer-term plans already include cross-border routes tailored to the needs of business passengers, with which they want to improve the accessibility of local economic centers without increasing emissions.
To pre-test the service and use it in the first live, Volocopter was chosen by the Asian state because it is both an economic and a scientific center. Taking advantage of this, they enter into partnership agreements with local higher education institutions for more efficient research and development, working together in materials science, planning and validating the route of autonomous flights, or developing the best possible batteries.
The latter is also key to the usability of the machines, the construction of newer, heavier specimens and route planning, as the machines are purely electric, but like most of their competitors, the low performance of the batteries is difficult even here.