VIDEO: Volocopter cargo-variant VoloDrone makes first public flight


Volocopter’s electric heavy-lift drone VoloDrone conducted its first public flight on Tuesday October 12 at the ITS World Congress event in Hamburg, Germany.

The three-minute test flight took off at 3:02 p.m. at homePORT Hamburg and reached a maximum altitude of 22m (72ft). For this delivery simulation, the electric heavy-lift utility drone was equipped with a load-box in between its landing gear.

The flight was conducted in association with the international logistics company DB Schenker, to demonstrate the progress made on the development program since DB Schenker became a strategic investor in Volocopter in early 2020.

First, the demonstration teams secured a Euro-pallet sized load to the box under the VoloDrone, followed by a take-off. After this, the aircraft brought the payload to a DB Schenker Cargo Bike and landed safely. Once the payload was transferred successfully, the Cargo Bike delivered its cargo to the final destination under the area’s park deck, marking the completion of the entirely electric, multimodal last-mile delivery.

Florian Reuter, Volocopter CEO said, “This first public VoloDrone flight is a strong sign for Volocopter´s leading position in the UAM industry. We are the only UAM company offering solutions for passengers and goods that are flying fully scaled and publicly around the world.

“Our VoloDrone will make existing logistics processes more robust, efficient, and sustainable. DB Schenker is an invaluable partner in our endeavor to untap the massive potential of our VoloDrone’s logistics use cases.”

Erik Wirsing, Vice President Global Innovation at DB Schenker said, “With the VoloDrone flight today, we were able to publicly demonstrate our successful collaboration and the impressive progress on DB Schenker’s innovation and sustainability roadmap for cleaner logistics.


The VoloDrone takes off during a logistics integration demonstration with DB Schenker at ITS World Congress in Hamburg, Germany

The VoloDrone is an unmanned, fully electric utility drone designed to carry any of the six International Organization for Standardization (ISO) pallet sizes, weighing up to 200kg (440 lbs) up to 40km (25 miles). The VoloDrone demonstrator performed its first flight in October 2019 and subsequent flight testing has been conducted at various airfields in Germany.
The Volodrone is 9.15m (30ft) in diameter, 2.15m (7ft) tall, and has a 600kg  maximum take-off weight. The company plans to introduce autonomous beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capabilities in future Volodrones.
Other variants in the family of eVTOL aircraft Volocopter is developing are the VoloCity and VoloConnect for passengers in cities. The VoloDrone is positioned to be transport goods and cargo “where conventional transport options reach their limits” according to the company.
In addition to developing the aircraft, Volocopter is organizing the physical VoloPorts and a digital VoloIQ infrastructure to support its passenger and goods transportation services, which the company plans to launch within the next three years.
The VoloIQ platform will support ecosystem operational aspects like Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO), Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation (CAMO), Flight Analytics, Vehicle Connectivity, Autonomous Operations.
This article was originally published by Traffic Technology International.
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