While the electric revolution in road transport is much talked about, air travel is also increasingly getting electrified. One of the players in the electric urban air mobility (UAM) space, Volocopter, has released details on its new electric aircraft, the Voloconnect, expanding its electric transport portfolio.
Just like the company’s other aircraft, the Voloconnect is an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL). Volocopter hopes to get certification for it in five years’ time.
With greater range than earlier models, the Voloconnect will be capable of longer flights that can connect cities to the suburbs. It will fly 54 nautical miles (100 km) per charge and cruise at a top speed of 135 knots (250 km/h), using present battery tech, which means there could be an improvement before the aircraft design is finalized. Volocopter says it aims to bring communities closer.
The electric aircraft which has already taken two years to design has a system of six electrical motors and rotors and 2 propulsive fans.
The Voloconnect will carry a maximum of four per flight. Volocopter says the aircraft is highly efficient during forward flight and maintains a low stall speed.
The German-based company is the only eVTOL making company to achieve Design Organization Approval from European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), a regulating body for aircraft certification. Volocopter has successfully demonstrated its electric aircraft in cities all over the world, having conducted more than 1000 test flights since 2011.
Volocopter is targeting a full ecosystem that powers electric flights in both inter- and intra-city scenarios. It has entered into partnerships with global companies like Aéroports de Paris, Microsoft Azure, Lufthansa Industry Solutions, and many more.
“VoloConnect embodies the next dimension of our mission to offer affordable, efficient, and sustainable flight mobility solutions for cities around the globe. Leveraging customer insights from our existing VoloCity and VoloDrone, VoloConnect’s capacity to support longer missions and higher payloads serves another strong growing market demand,” says Florian Reuter, Volocopter CEO. “We are confident that this aircraft family, and the years of experience and leading innovation on which it’s founded, will pioneer the way for electric UAM services to launch commercially and internationally.”