VC Evolution 1P
Volocopter GmbH was founded in 2011 in Karlsruhe, Germany by Alexander Zosel and Stephen Wolf with the intent of making an electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) multicopter aircraft for fast and efficient urban travel. The company was known as “e-volo GmbH” until July 2017 and its name is now Volocopter GmbH. Volocopter announced in February 2020 that it had raised a total of €122 million (approx. $145M USD) since inception.
In the 2012 time frame, the company (named "e-volo" at the time) created an eVTOL design concept for a one passenger called the VC Evolution 1P, an eVTOL ultralight aircraft. This was an early design concept for the e-volo company and the target market would be initially for flight enthusiasts and people who wanted to be the first flying and using electric urban flight aircraft.
An extra pusher propeller was on the rear of the aircraft to add extra forward speed. The aircraft also had wheeled landing gear to facilitate movement of the aircraft when grounded. During 2012 and 2013, Volocopter was considering hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft so that longer ranges were possible but this idea was scrapped since battery technology has advanced over the years.
Several benefits of the concept aircraft:
- Easy to use with a joystick
- Automatic flying, no pilot skills
- Safe to fly
- Simple and reliable
- Affordable and almost maintenance-free
- Clean Aviation: No pollution, all electric
- Much quieter than a helicopter
The advantage of this eVTOL aircraft is not only being more efficient, using smaller propellers and electric motors but it is lighter than a helicopter which also increases the efficiency of the aircraft. It can lose six propellers and the aircraft can still land safely. Complexity of the aircraft is reduced which increases its safety and reduces the weight of the aircraft. Its use of small propellers and electric motors reduces the noise that the aircraft makes.
In the summer of 2012, the company was planning to have a production model for sale by 2015; however, this concept design never made it to a prototype model, as far as we know.
For more information on the other aircraft developed by Volocopter, please see the following aircraft pages:
- Aircraft type: eVTOL
- Capacity: 1 passenger
- Control: Joystick with intuitive fly-by-wire control
- Cockpit: Open cockpit, a narrow front windscreen with no side windows and no doors\
- Cruising speed: Unknown
- Cruising altitude: Unknown
- Maximum takeoff weight: Unknown
- Propellers: 19
- Propellers for vertical flight: 18 VTOL propellers
- Propeller for forward flight: 1 pusher propeller
- Electric motors: 19
- Landing gear: Fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear.
- Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft.
- Volocopter website
- Volocopter Facebook
- Volocopter Twitter
- Volocopter YouTube
- Volocopter Wikipedia
- Article: Manned maiden flight writes aviation history, Volocopter, Oct. 2011
- Video: E-Volo VC Evolution 1P and 2P (Volocopter), TechnologicVehicles, June 14, 2012
- Article: Future small helicopters, Flying, Sept. 26, 2012
- Article: Volocopter, Electric Vehicles Research, Electric Vehicle Research, Sept. 18, 2012
- Article: Volocopter Reinvents Flight, Grabcad Blog, Jan. 29, 2013
- Article: DB Schenker invests as Volocopter extends Series C Round to € 87 million, Volocopter, Feb. 21, 2020