Bristow Group Inc, a global leader in vertical flight solutions, and Volocopter have embarked on a collaboration that sets the stage for passenger and cargo services utilizing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in the U.S. and U.K.
The partnership was announced last week and includes Bristow’s firm order for two VoloCity aircraft, with an option for an additional 78, once certified. Together, Volocopter and Bristow are poised to build a robust UAM ecosystem, encompassing regulatory discussions, infrastructure development, and local partnerships.
The scope of their joint development agreement is broad: covering commercial, operational, and eVTOL aircraft maintenance services. This includes adapting Volocopter’s proprietary digital platform, VoloIQ, to ensure the efficiency of Bristow’s future operations.
The eVTOL sector is rapidly evolving, driven by its emission-free flights and ultra-low noise signatures. With the VoloCity joining Bristow’s fleet, there are undoubtedly an array of new urban routes and service possibilities under study.
Volocopter aims to secure final certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2024, with FAA certification in the U.S. following shortly thereafter, potentially opening doors for commercial UAM services.
Dave Stepanek, Bristow’s Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer, expressed his excitement, saying, “Launching this collaborative effort with Volocopter marks a major milestone in Bristow’s effort to usher in a new era of vertical transportation solutions.” He further highlighted Volocopter’s pragmatic approach to certification and innovative aircraft design.
Christian Bauer, CFO & CCO of Volocopter, emphasized the significance of this partnership, given Bristow’s vast experience in bringing new aircraft into service. Bauer stated, “Our partnership with Bristow and the firm VoloCity orders received propels us forward as we unlock new markets.”
Why it’s important: With more than 500 pre-orders, including nearly 30 firm orders from partners, Volocopter is forging a path toward a more accessible and sustainable aviation future. Together with Bristow, Volocopter is moving forward to an ultimate goal of wide access to the benefits of aviation, where flying becomes not just a dream but a reality for people across the globe. In this bold venture, innovation and experience unite, promising a future where UAM services revolutionize the way we travel, connect, and experience the world.