In a move to acclimate future users of air taxis in what’s expected to be a showcase market, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft company Volocopter has opened a permanent public exhibition in Singapore featuring its VoloCity plane.
The open-ended exhibit is being housed at the city-state’s Institute of Technical Education, and aims to educate potential clients about the assets and tech involved in the nearing mode of urban transportation. It features a 3D VoloPort vertiport scale model, and detailed information on Volocopter and the wider advanced air mobility (AAM) industry. Volocopter expects Singapore to be among the first places it puts the VoloCity eVTOL into air taxi service.
Because of that, Volocopter is keen to gain the acceptance and confidence of potential air taxi clients by giving them an up-close-and-personal view of the VoloCity eVTOL. Many observers believe the public trust factor will be critical in future AAM businesses succeeding – possibly just as tricky as overcoming technology challenges in developing aircraft.
Given Singapore’s unique status as a country squeezed into a single city, Volocopter views it as an ideal place to introduce and prove the effectiveness of eVTOLs like VoloCity in service as air taxis. In February the company published its Singapore Roadmap forecasting advanced urban mobility (UAM) activity will generate $3.1 billion in increased economic growth and 1,300 additional jobs in the nation by the end of the decade.
Volocopter plans on launching those operations in 2025, and clearly thinks the time has come to start priming public interest in its VoloCity craft, and eVTOL air taxis in general, by opening the Singapore exhibit.
“This is the perfect time to showcase our VoloCity in Singapore, as our latest local market survey showed a significant uptick in the proportion of respondents who are excited to try an air taxi service,” said Volocopter chief commercial officer Christian Bauer. “We hope to increase public awareness and education on this new form of mobility and the many ways it will benefit Singapore. We are partnering with local institutions and organizations as we build our UAM ecosystem. ITE is an ideal place to display our aircraft, as we hope to inspire the next generation of aviation talent to engage with the emerging UAM industry.”
The two-passenger VoloCity eVTOL is powered by 18 rotors, and designed for short urban air taxi services within its 22-mile range. Powered by nine batteries that can be swapped out within five minutes, the craft is expected to be rolled out for initial operation during the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.
Volocopter is also developing a four-passenger VoloConnect craft for somewhat longer routes.