VC Evolution 1P (defunct)
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 advanced air mobility (AAM). Advanced air mobility has also been called urban air travel. On Oct. 21, 2011, the company made history by making the first crewed flight in the world of a multicopter, named the VC1. The multicopter was flown in southwest Germany by co-founder, primary designer, inventor and builder, Thomas Senkel. The Guinness Book of World Records has the historic flight listed on their website. The company was originally known as "e-volo GmbH" until being renamed to "Volocopter GmbH" in July 2017 and the company is now based in Bruchsal, Germany.
In 2015, Volocopter received the “Climate Champion COP21” award at the Paris Climate Conference (held 30 November - 11 December 2015) in Paris, France, for the Volocopter. Also in 2015, the company stated the Volocopter is being designed to be flown with the option of being piloted drone, remotely, or autonomously, for passenger aircraft. For cargo aircraft, the Volocopters are being designed to be flown remotely or autonomously. The Volocopter is simple, safe and green.
VC Evolution 1P passenger eVTOL multicopter concept design aircraft
The VC Evolution 1P one passenger eVTOL multicopter concept design aircraft. Piloting is accomplished with one joystick and an intuitive fly-by-wire control system. The aircraft was designed to be an ultralight aircraft requiring less restraints on selling the aircraft and allowing most people to be able to purchase the aircraft. The market for the VC Evolution 1P would initially be sold to flight enthusiasts who wanted an all electric aircraft.
The pilot sits in an open cockpit that has one windshield and has no side windows or doors. The pilot sits on a seat and there are foot rests on the front lower outside of the fuselage. The maximum takeoff weight is approximately 113 kg (250 lb) or less and the aircraft has luggage compartment. The aircraft has 18 VTOL propellers, one pusher propeller for forward flight and is powered by batteries. The aircraft has a grand total of 19 propellers. The aircraft has fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear. Wheeled landing gear allows the pilot to taxi the aircraft on the ground and allows allows ground crews to easily move the aircraft on the ground.
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. The advantage of this eVTOL aircraft due to its multiple small propellers powered by electric motors, makes the aircraft more efficient than a helicopter and safer than a helicopter. Smaller propellers powered by electric motors, makes the aircraft lighter in weight than a helicopter, reduces the complexity of the aircraft and can still land safely if several of the propellers stop working during flight.
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.
Several benefits of the concept aircraft:
- Easy to use with a joystick
- Automatic flying, no pilot skills
- Safe to fly
- More efficient than a helicopter
- Simple and reliable
- Affordable and almost maintenance-free
- Clean Aviation: No pollution, all electric
- Much quieter than a helicopter
Volocopter's mission and future goals
The purpose of what was then known as e-volo, was to respond to the growing urbanization of world cities and respond in kind with technological advances in connectivity, sensors, electrics/battery and drone development to help take pressure off the already crowded inner city roads by offering an alternative aerial option. And all of the early e-volo's, now Volocopter, concepts and prototypes were to have the option to be either all electric or hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft (according to a Sept. 29, 2016 presentation by e-volo GmbH at a NASA ODM Workshop in Hartford, Connecticut, USA). Fast forward several years from 2016 to now and Volocopter is only making all-electric or eVTOL aircraft.
All the Volocopter's designs were to have identical components with identical safety standards, each aircraft having 18 propellers and 18 electric motors. In 2020, Volocopter had estimated the purchase price for their passenger eVTOL aircraft to cost around €300,000.00 Euros. The company is in the business to provide emission-free, low-noise, inter-urban piloted or remote transportation and autonomous aerial mobility.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL
- Capacity: 1 passenger
- Control: Joystick with intuitive fly-by-wire control
- Cockpit: The aircraft has an open cockpit with a narrow front windshield and has no side windows and no doors. The pilot sits on a seat and there are foot rests on the front lower outside of the fuselage.
- Cruising speed: Unknown
- Maximum takeoff weight: Unknown (Approximately 113 kg/250 lb or less)
- Propellers for VTOL flight: 18 propellers
- Propeller for forward flight: 1 pusher propeller
- Electric motors: 19 electric motors
- Windshield: 1 windshield, no doors
- 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 X (formerly Twitter)
- Volocopter YouTube Channel
- Volocopter Instagram
- Volocopter LinkedIn
- Volocopter WeChat
- 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