Volocopter, A German-based Aerospace company, has announced at the U.P summit that they have achieved another milestone as their fixed-winged passenger aircraft, the VoloConnect, finished its first flight in May 2022. The U.P Summit is the annual gathering of the world’s innovative leaders in transportation hosted by investment U.P Partners.
With a range of more than 60 miles and flight speeds exceeding 155 miles per hour, the VoloConnect – Volocopter’s third product solution, offers longer and faster journeys than any other existing Volocopter aircraft. The passenger plane’s vast range and higher payload will take business travelers and commuters beyond the city center on routes such as Burbank to Huntington Beach in Los Angeles, CA.
The VoloCity and VoloConnect air taxi designs meet the demands for metropolitan flights and suburban connections in densely populated areas, respectively. Furthermore, the VoloConnect aims for a commercial launch in 2026, whereas the VoloCity seeks a commercial launch in 2024.
Volocopter developed the VoloConnect and its other eVTOL aircraft to meet the highest aviation safety standards of the European Aviation Safety Agency. The prototype integrates all of the aerodynamic and performance features of the prospective commercial product. After only 17 months of development, the prototype flew for the first time in May 2022, accomplishing a few maneuvers for 2 minutes and 14 seconds.
The VoloConnect is a lift-and-cruise aircraft crafted for missions beyond the suburban areas. Its six rotors foster vertical takeoff by limiting moving parts, while two electric fans under uplift-creating wings ensure the highest forward speeds.
The VoloConnect prototype is undergoing an intensive series of flight tests to ensure that the model and its systems are within performance limits and ready for the upcoming development steps.
This phase includes all sorts of tests, such as standardized low-speed, transition, high-speed, and engine failure testing for automated and later autonomous flights – all of which are standard-issue tests for an eVTOL passenger aircraft manufacturer.
During the campaign’s first three test flights, the team verified a substantial portion of the eVTOL’s envelope, with forwarding speeds up to 40 mph and sideward flights up to 28 mph. The test flight envelope will open slowly within the next few weeks as a part of the test flight campaign.
Along with its existing aircraft family members, the VoloDrone and VoloCity, VoloConnect is poised to expand Volocopter’s total addressable UAM market.
There are numerous technical differences between the VoloCity and VoloConnect passenger aircraft. Most notable are their distinct configuration designs for their respective flight missions.
The multirotor VoloCity air taxi emphasizes intracity routes and its larger lift-and-cruise sibling on longer urban and suburban missions. Earlier, Walmart partnered with droneup to facilitate fast deliveries via drones.
Following the accomplishment of the voloconnect, Volocopter is the only eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft) developer in the Western hemisphere, with an entire fleet of distinct aircraft configurations undergoing flight tests. The VoloConnect prototype’s success comes from a dedicated team in Munich led by Sebastian Mores, Chief Engineer of VoloConnect.
In the future, Volocopter aims to seamlessly integrate all three aircraft into customized UAM ecosystems for cities and use its VoloIQ digital platform to connect all of the company’s flight operations, passenger services, maintenance, and more for an effortless mobility experience.