Since 2020, Diehl Aerospace and Volocopter have partnered on the development of avionics for Volocopter’s VoloCity eVTOL aircraft. The two companies will now expand the scope of their partnership to include the development of optical and energy management components of these avionics.
Diehl Aerospace is a joint venture of the German Diehl Group and the French Thales Group. It currently supplies cabin liners, lavatories, galleys, cabin lighting, avionics, fire protection, and air distribution systems to a variety of commercial and military customers including Boeing and Airbus.
Above: The Volocopter Volocity eVTOL, which is already undergoing test flights
Last week, Diehl announced they will expand their partnership with Volocopter to develop “fly-by-light” avionics and energy management components. In a company press release, Diehl goes on to explain that they will develop an optical splitter and data concentrator unit which will use light signals and optic fiber to transmit information rather than traditional copper “fly-by-wire” applications.
This next generation technology eliminates issues with electromagnetic interference and will increase overall safety in operations of Volocopter’s VoloCity.
With use of the Fly-by-Light technology in the eVTOL VoloCity, Diehl seeks to make significant contribution to ensuring maximum safety and high reliability in the aerial mobility industry. “We are excited to further expand our partnership with Volocopter, an innovative pioneer in the UAM market, bringing our many years of experience and expertise in flight control systems to the table,” said Florian Maier, CEO of Diehl Aerospace.
In addition to providing the Volocity’s flight control system, Diehl will also supply further sub-components for the Battery Management System of the VoloCity. The Battery Management system will monitor and manage the health of battery packs installed in the aircraft, again increasing vehicle safety. The VoloCity features nine battery packs that are replaced and recharged after each flight. In order to monitor the battery status during the flight, the pilot receives all flight-relevant information via the Battery Management system such as remaining energy, and options to control the power supply levels.
Why it matters: Volocopter’s partnership with Diehl greatly increases its technical competitiveness with other aerial mobility manufacturers. With decades-long experience in developing components for commercial airliners, Diehl has an opportunity to apply its technical prowess in a new segment. With this announcement, Volocopter continues to move towards entry to commercial service and intends to bring its VoloCity to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Source // Volocopter, Dhiel