Volocopter eyes flights outside city limits with 4-seater drone taxi

Volocopter Geely UAM China

German drone taxi manufacturer Volocopter has unveiled a new electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that can transport up to four passengers on routes of 62 miles (100 km) at a speed of 112 miles per hour (180 kmph).

Bigger, more efficient Volocopter drone taxi: VoloConnect

VoloConnect, which is expected to achieve certification within the next five years, is designed with a vision to connect suburbs to cities. Its hybrid lift-and-push design technique allows the compact aircraft to remain naturally stable and efficient during forward flight, while maintaining a low stall speed.

Volocopter says the drone taxi’s development comes in response to a strong growing market demand for long-range intra-city missions. The new aircraft will be seamlessly integrated into the company’s existing portfolio of urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem solutions: VoloDrone, VoloCity, VoloPort, and VoloIQ digital platform.

Check out VoloConnect’s specifications:

VoloConnect specs

Interestingly, the company is leveraging customer insights from its two-seater drone taxi, VoloCity, and mid-range urban logistics drone, VoloDrone, to better understand how VoloConnect can support longer missions and higher payloads. Florian Reuter, the CEO of Volocopter, says:

VoloConnect embodies the next dimension of our mission to offer affordable, efficient, and sustainable flight mobility solutions for cities around the globe. We are confident that this aircraft family, and the years of experience and leading innovation on which it’s founded, will pioneer the way for electric UAM services to launch commercially and internationally.

In terms of development, Volocopter’s Munich-based team has been working on VoloConnect for about two years now. They are already flying multiple-scale prototypes of the new drone taxi and are quickly progressing toward testing full-scale prototypes. You can take a closer look at the team testing a 1:3 VoloConnect prototype here:

And if you also think that the drone taxi is a stunner, here’s what you can expect the full-scale model to look like:

It’s worth noting that Volocopter is the only eVTOL developer with a product portfolio of multi-copter and fixed-wing designs that can be used for both passenger and cargo transportation. The electric aviation startup is also the only eVTOL company thus far to attain Design Organization Approval from European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Moreover, Volocopter has secured partnerships with global leaders such as Aéroports de Paris, Microsoft Azure, and Lufthansa Industry Solutions.

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