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 VC200, with 18 non-tilting propellers, made its first unmanned flight in November 2013. Its first manned flight was March 30, 2016; Volocopter claimed this as the world’s first 2-seat electric VTOL aircraft. The aircraft is designed for up to 100 km/h (54 kt) and demonstrated a speed of 69 km/h (37 kt) in July 2016. The program is supported by Intel’s Ascending Technologies, DG Flugzeugbau GmbH and others.
The Volocopter 2X is a refined next generation version of the VC200, with a limited number of pre-production prototypes now under development for future sale.
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.
Volocopter Characteristics (updated April 2017)
|Fuselage length||9.5 ft||2.9 m|
|Overall height||6.6 ft||2.0 m|
|Tip-to-tip distance||30 ft||9.15 m|
|Empty weight||660 lb||300 kg|
|Max gross takeoff wt||990 lb||450 kg|
|Useful load||330 lb||150 kg|
|Cruise speed||55 kt||100 km/h|
|Motor output||18x 5.3 hp||18x 3.9 kW|
|First Flight (unmanned)||Nov. 17, 2013|
|First Flight (manned)||March 30, 2016|
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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: Volocopter VC200 First Flight, forschungsbuero, November 20, 2013
- Video: World’s first manned flight with an electric multicopter, forschungsbuero, Oct. 28, 2011