Volocopter GmbH was founded in 2011 in Karlsruhe, Germany, by Alexander Zosel and Stephen Wolf with the intent of making an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) multicopter aircraft for fast and efficient urban travel. Known as “e-volo GmbH” until being renamed in July 2017, the company is now based in Bruchsal, Germany.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the first manned flight of an electric multicopter was the Volocopter VC1 prototype. The VC1 multicopter was flown by co-founder, primary designer, inventor and builder, Thomas Senkel on Oct. 21, 2011.
The Volocopter 2X is an electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing multicopter that is a refined version of the VC200, with a limited number of pre-production prototypes now under development for future sale.
The 2X is completely electric and quieter than the smallest helicopter by a factor of 7. It has six Y shaped struts emanating from its axle. The intersection of each Y has a vertical non-tilting propeller and 12 more are at the ends of the struts which is reinforced with a perimeter ring. These 18 propellers and 3-phase PM synchronous brushless DC electric motors are powered by nine batteries. The vehicle weighs 640 lbs (290 kg) and can carry a two passenger payload of 350 lb (160 kg). It has demonstrated an endurance 0f 27 minutes of flight for a range of 17 miles (27 km). It has a cruise speed of 55 kt (100 k/hr). It is 10.5 ft (3.2 m) long, 7 feet (2.15 m) high and has a tip-to-tip distance of 30 ft (9.15 m).
Autonomous flight is possible. The aircraft has a single joystick and is intuitive to fly. If the joystick is released automatic systems keep it in a stable position. Systems include fiber optic fly-by-wire. It also has an emergency ballistic parachute.
The 2X is designed for urban mobility and Volocopter envisions units being called as simply as using an app.
In 2016 it was the first multicopter given manned flight certification. Its first unmanned flight was in September 2017 and its first manned flight in January 2018 allowing Volocopter to claim this as the world’s first 2-seat electric VTOL aircraft.
The program is supported by Intel’s Ascending Technologies, Daimler AG, DG Flugzeugbau GmbH and others.
Volocopter will be manufacturing the aircraft, running the air taxi service, building Voloports, allow passengers to request a flight through an app, will not be selling their aircraft to individuals and will offer air taxi urban travel at competitive prices.
Volocopter stated in November 2019 that the VC1, VC2, VC200 and 2X prototypes have collectively made over 1,000 test flights, including in Dubai and Singapore.
|Fuselage length||10.5 ft||3.2 m|
|Overall height||7 ft||2.15 m|
|Tip-to-tip distance||30 ft||9.15 m|
|Empty weight||640 lb||290 kg|
|Max gross takeoff wt||990 lb||450 kg|
|Useful load||350 lb||160 kg|
|Cruise speed||55 kt||100 km/h|
|Motor type||3-phase PM synchronous motor, brushless DC electric motor (BLDC)|
|First Flight (unmanned)||September 2017|
|First Flight (manned)||January 2018|
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- Article: World’s First Full-Scale Air Taxi VoloPort Unveiled in Singapore, Volocopter, Oct. 21, 2019
- Article: Stuttgart see first urban flight of Volocopter in Europe, Volocopter, Sept. 9, 2019
- Article: Successful integration of piloted air taxi into Air Traffic Management / UTM system, Volocopter, Aug. 30, 2019
- Article: Volocopter Unveils VoloCity, Its First Production eVTOL, Aviation International News Online, Aug. 21, 2019
- Article: Volocopter reveals design for new Urban Air Mobility aircraft Volocity to become first commercial Volocopter aircraft, Volocopter, Aug. 21, 2019
- White Paper: Pioneering The Urban Air Taxi Revolution, 1.0, Volocopter, June 6, 2019
- Article: Mobility of the Future: Fraport and Volocopter Are Developing Airport Infrastructure and Passenger Processes for Air Taxi Services, Volocopter, Feb. 12, 2019
- Article: Volocopter presents air taxi services at scale, Volocopter, Apr. 17, 2018
- Article: Remote-piloted Volocopter eVTOL Flies Intel CEO, AIN Online, Jan. 9, 2018
- Article: Volocopter 2X: An Autonomous Flying Taxi In Flight At CES 2018 In Las Vegas For The First Time, Inquistr, Jan. 8, 2018
- Article: e-volo’s 2X Ready for Production, eVTOL News, May 2, 2017
- Article: Air Mobility Bonanza Beckons Electric VTOL Developers, Vertiflite, March/April 2017
- Article: The Demand for On-Demand Mobility, Vertiflite, January/February 2017
- Video: Volocopter’s flying taxi takes off at CES, The Verge, Jan. 8, 2018
- Video: 2018 CES: Intel CEO Brian Krzanich Takes a Volocopter Test, Intel Newsroom, Jan.8, 2018
- Video: The Volocopter 2X. Mobility in the next dimension, Volocopter, Oct. 16, 2017
- Video: Dubai’s flying taxi – the volocopter – takes first flight, Esquire, Sept. 25, 2017
- Video: World’s first manned flight with an electric multicopter, forschungsbuero, Oct. 28, 2011