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. 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.
On May 17, 2021, Volocopter officially announced it has designed a long-range electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for Urban Air Mobility (UAM), for people traveling between the suburbs and the city. The European patent was filed, on June 27, 2019. The U.S. patent for this aircraft is dated Dec. 31, 2020. Electric VTOL News details the news of a patent application for an aircraft with a similar propulsion architecture was filed on May 29, 2020 (this date is found on the first page of the patent, left column).
The VoloRegion eVTOL aircraft holds four passengers, has an estimated cruise speed of 180 km/h (110 mph), a range of 100 km (60 m), large windows for excellent views, has six VTOL propellers located on the top of two booms, two rear ducted fans for forward flight, a high-wing and tricycle wheeled retractable landing gear. The company has stated aircraft will have Volocopter’s fly-by-wire flight-control system, have autonomous piloting, have multiple redundant and separate systems for additional safety, and the aircraft has battery swapping capability. The VoloRegion originally debuted as VoloConnect. The name change from VoloConnect to VoloRegion took place in 2022.
In May 2021, Volocopter stated they have been working on the aircraft for over two years in Munich, Germany and have made multiple scaled prototypes which have been in flight testing. It was announced in June 2022 that the VoloRegion completed its first flight in May 2022. The VoloRegion aircraft will allow the company to expand its customer base and provide long-range eVTOL flight (a range of 100 km, 60 m) to passengers. Volocopter states they are the only eVTOL company in the world that is real world flight testing a heavy-lift cargo multicopter (VoloDrone), a passenger multicopter (VoloCity) and a passenger eVTOL aircraft (VoloRegion).
The aircraft is expected to be used for both passenger and cargo service. Volocopter estimates that the VoloRegion eVTOL aircraft will be certified and in service by 2026.
For more information on Volocopter's other production aircraft, please see the following aircraft pages:
- Aircraft type: eVTOL aircraft
- Piloting: Autonomous
- Capacity: 4 passengers
- Cruise speed: 180 km/h (110 mph)
- Maximum speed: 250 km/h (155 mph)
- Range: 100 km (60 m)
- Flight Time: Unknown
- Propellers: 6 VTOL propellers, two ducted fans for forward flight
- Electric Motors: 8 or more
- Power source: Batteries. Has battery swapping capability.
- Payload: 300-400 kg (660-880 lb)
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Large windows for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
- Wings: One main high wing with two booms with 6 VTOL propellers
- Tail: V shape tail connected to the rear of the two booms
- Landing gear: Retractable 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. The aircraft can also land like an airplane if need be.
- Article: Air-Taxi Startup Volocopter Unveils Four-Seater Suburban Shuttle, Bloomberg, May 17, 2021
- Article: VoloConnect: Expanding Volocopter’s Coverage of the Urban Air Mobility Ecosystem, Volocopter, May 17, 2021
- Video: Volocopter introduces the VoloConnect to complement their UAM aircraft family, Volocopter, May 17, 2021
- Article: Volocopter launches fixed-wing all-electric eVTOL, Flight Global, May 17, 2021
- Article: Volocopter patent filings show winged aircraft design in the works, eVTOL Magazine, Mar. 17, 2021
- Article: Volocopter unveils VoloConnect, its longer-range eVTOL air taxi, eVTOL Magazine, May 17, 2021
- Video: Volocopter’s VoloConnect team flying scaled prototype, Volocopter, May 17, 2021
- Article: Volocopter’s 4-seater aircraft takes first flight, Vertical Magazine, June 7, 2022
- Video: VoloRegion: Prototype in First Flight | Volocopter, Volocopter, June 7, 2022
- Article: Volocopter: Dark Horse of the eVTOL Race to Early Commercial Success, eVTOL Insights, July 27, 2022
- Article: Volocopter’s Third eVTOL Prototype VoloConnect Makes Its First Flight, Aviation Today, June 7, 2022