VoloCity is Volocopter's first commercial air taxi design. Photo: Volocopter
German urban air mobility developer Volocopter has confirmed the first commercial model in its air taxi program, VoloCity, along with plans for the new design’s first test flight to occur later this year in Singapore.
VoloCity is Volocopter’s fourth-generation electrical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL), with a design guided by the safety standards specified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (SC-VTOL category enhanced), under the special condition certification categories published by the agency in July. Volocopter’s first commercial variant will have a “a calculated range of 35 km and airspeed of 110 km/h,” the air taxi maker said in a statement announcing the new model.
“VoloCity is our most powerful Volocopter yet. It is rigorously designed to meet the demands of Urban Air Mobility and incorporates all requirements of the SC-VTOL certification standard established by EASA in July 2019. It is a result of all insights we have gathered from our extensive testing programs over the past years,” Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter said of the new model.
EASA’s special condition regulates certification of air taxis in one of two categories: "Basic," which only requires the aircraft to be capable of making a controlled emergency landing after a failure occurs. The second category, "Enhanced," demands the aircraft “is capable of continued safe flight and landing” at its originally intended destination or a suitable alternative vertiport.
VoloCity. Photo: Volocopter
Inside the cabin of the new model is enough seating for two passengers with hand luggage. Volocopter kept much of the design features of its earlier test model variants in place on VoloCity by incorporating 18 total rotors along with aerodynamic rotor beams. New to the VoloCity model is a stabilizer designed to create increased stability in flight and additional lift.
The design of the commercial model was “supported by Mercedes Benz Design,” according to Volocopter. Upon releasing the first images of the new design, Voloccopter did not show the aircraft’s cockpit and also provided no details about the flight control system. On the air taxi model that Volocopter uses for testing, Intel’s Falcon 8+ commercial drone flight control and sensor technology provides the navigation system and functionality.
Volocopter plans on conducting the first public test flight of VoloCity by the fourth quarter of 2019 in Singapore, where the company has been validating the ability of its Pre-Series 2X model to fly in the nation’s urban environment. During the first test flight, Volocpter also plans to display its first urban air mobility infrastructure prototype, a “Voloport”, developed in partnership with Skyports.
German airport operator Fraport, has also been working with Volocopter to develop passenger and ground procedures that can be aligned with civil aviation regulations as well.
“With the VoloCity we will open the first commercial routes and bring Urban Air Mobility to life,” Reuter said.
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