Volocopter plans to start urban flight testing of its electric vertical take-off and landing air taxi in Singapore between January and July next year.
According to the German company, its electrically-powered 2X aircraft can fly two people up to 27km (17 miles) on a single charge with a cruise speed of 70km/h (43mph). It has been designed to remain stable in urban areas, despite the micro turbulences that may occur around tall buildings. The company also claims the aircraft is so quiet it cannot be heard over the “typical background noise of a city”.
The 2X, which can piloted or remotely controlled, performed an unmanned test flight in Dubai in September 2017. The flight tests in Singapore are designed to validate and verify operation in an urban environment and will culminate in a series of public demonstration flights.
Volocopter and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) are working together to establish the scope of the flight trials and ensure that the necessary safety requirements are met before flight tests commence. The company also plans to set up a product design and engineering team in Singapore.
Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter, said, “We’re getting ready to start implementing the first fixed routes in cities and Singapore is a logical partner. We are confident this is another exciting step to make air taxi services a reality.”
Ho Yuen Sang, director of aviation industry at the CAAS, said, “There is potential for air taxis, or eVTOLs, to transform mobility and logistics in urban cities. Volocopter is at the forefront of such new and innovative technology in the aviation industry. CAAS is pleased to work together with Volocopter to study the technical capabilities and develop appropriate operational guidelines to facilitate such trials in Singapore.”
Volocopter has held a preliminary permit to fly from the German authorities since 2016 and is working with the European Aviation Safety Authority to obtain a full commercial license Volocopter conducted the first test flight of its VC200 aircraft at the end of 2015.