21 August 2019 || 4 min read
On August 21st, Volocopter presented the design for its newest air taxi model: VoloCity. This will be the fourth-generation electrical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) by the German Urban Air Mobility developer. The VoloCity has been designed to meet the safety standards specified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (SC-VTOL category enhanced) and incorporates user feedback as well as test data from all previous Volocopter generations. With a calculated range of 35 km and airspeed of 110 km/h, the VoloCity is designed to serve as an on-demand inner-city air taxi.
The learnings of over 1,000 test flights on previous Volocopter generations and market research with several hundred potential customers have informed the design and technical specifications of the VoloCity. The result is an aircraft with visible improvements that still stays true to the well-known Volocopter technical and safety features: 18 rotors, redundancy in all critical systems, a low noise signature and a rigid commitment to the inner-city mission. Features include:
- Payload to accommodate 2 people including hand luggage
- Increased flight efficiency through aerodynamically shaped rotor beams, a newly introduced stabilizer to create increased stability in flight and additional lift
- Iconic design with fluid lines is a seamless continuation of architectural language of the future VoloPort all the while combining unprecedented technological achievements and user comfort
“The 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 programms over the past years.” says Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter. “With the VoloCity we will open the first commercial routes and bring Urban Air Mobility to life.”
Additional specifications of VoloCity include:
- 200 kg maximum payload
- 18 brushless DC electric motors (BLDC’s)
- 700kg OEW
- 900 kg MTOW
Volocopter has developed three generations of aircraft and performed public flights most notably in Dubai in 2017 and during CES in Las Vegas in 2018.
The company is now focusing on establishing the necessary ecosystem around the aircraft to bring on-demand Urban Air Mobility services to life. This entails building up the operational environment such as the physical take-off and landing infrastructure and integrating into air traffic management systems of interested cities. Volocopter is working with global players like Fraport, the operator of Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) to optimize passenger and ground procedures and align regulations with the relevant authorities.
Until the commissioning of VoloCity, Volocopter will continue to test, improve, and demonstrate their Urban Air Mobility vision with the current 2X pre-series model. A public test flight is scheduled for Q4 this year in Singapore, where Volocopter will also display the first VoloPort Urban Air Mobility infrastructure prototype together with its partner Skyports.
Why it’s important: VoloCity iterates upon Volocopter’s already popular V200 vehicle, but the design is fine tuned for shorter point-to-point trips within cities of the highest population density and will be the first large scale commercially operating Volocopter. The battery swap time of 5 minutes further streamlines turn time of VoloCity and will be a key enabler for maximizing efficiency of scaled commercial UAM operations. As stated by Volocopter, the maximum payload of 200 kg will limit the aircraft to two passengers for most operations, but should still allow for profitable eVTOL operations assuming streamlined ops rhythms.
Source // Volocopter Press Release