By Chris Stonor
At 11am on Monday morning, a Volocopter 2X eVTOL vertically took off from Le Bourget Airfield at the Paris Air Forum to show the world what progress the company has made in recent years. That eVTOLs are not some CGI video or an image on a drawing board, but physical, nuts and bolts craft which can successfully take-off, hover, fly and land, reports a company press release.
With both the flight demonstration of its Volocopter 2X and the VoloCity model onsite, the German UAM developer conveyed the possibilities of introducing such aircraft as an addition to existing transportation in the Paris region. And with all eyes on the country’s Olympics in 2024, there is no other better place to demonstrate.
Previous UAMN Article Referencing the Paris Flight:
Inside of Cockpit
The three minute remote controlled flight was the first public showing of an eVTOL in France. Attendees watched as the Volocopter 2X flew a 500 metre route at speeds of up to 30 km/h and 30 m high along the Le Bourget Airfield. The press release says, “This flight marks the beginning of a multi-step test and market development campaign in cooperation with the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC – Direction générale de l’aviation civile) to safely bring electric air taxis to the Île-de-France region. Attendees could sit inside the VoloCity model for a first-hand experience and detailed explanation of the benefits of electric air taxi services.”
Florian Reuter, Volocopter CEO, enthused, “The first flight today in Paris highlights our commitment to bring air taxi services to this region in time for the 2024 Olympic Games. The alliance of the Paris region, Groupe ADP, and RATP Groupe and their intent to bring electric air taxis to France is a stellar example of the collaborative approach we see to be the most successful for adding this exciting category of mobility to cities globally.”
Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO, Groupe ADP, added, “Today, we were as close as never before in France to experience electric aviation. Volocopter is a vivid example of what the futures of aviation could look like, both carbon-free and innovative, that Groupe ADP wants to accompany thanks to our infrastructure assets, expertise, and know-how.
He continued, “Along with the other partners of the RE.Invent Air Mobility initiative, Volocopter is now ready to enter a first test flight campaign by September on the Pontoise airfield sandbox we have been building up in the past months. And we are thrilled to be partnering with them, RATP Group and DGAC towards our objective of flight demonstrations in the Paris Region during the 2024 Olympic Games, to lay the foundation of a strong UAM industrial ecosystem in France.”
Volocopter was announced as the first vehicle and operations partner for the launch of the urban air mobility industrial branch in Paris in September 2020. The release continues, “Now the company is planning to open a local office and is recruiting staff and expanding local partnerships to ensure the new UAM solutions meet local demands. Volocopter is also working on an agreement with Groupe ADP and RATP Groupe to collaborate for the 2024 Olympics to enhance regional connectivity in a meaningful way and showcase the benefits and key attributes of urban air mobility.”
Marie-Claude Dupois, Director of Strategy, Innovation and Development of RATP Group, said, “After becoming the first player in the urban air mobility industry, we are very pleased that Volocopter has confirmed its development and its establishment in France. For RATP Group, this new mobility aims to complement our traditional transport modes.”
VoloCity on Display
Volocopter is well advanced in the certification process with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for commercial launch. The release continues, “As the first and only eVTOL developer with Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from EASA, Volocopter is leading the way to introduce sustainable UAM solutions to cities around the world.”
It goes on, “Volocopter’s approach to introducing these services is to create a UAM ecosystem in which passengers and goods experience seamless connectivity with their cities via Volocopter’s mobility solutions.”
The company’s VoloCity (aircraft for intra-city connections), VoloConnect (aircraft for city-suburb connections), VoloDrone (aircraft for cargo transport), and VoloPorts (take-off and landing sites) are all fully integrated on the digital platform VoloIQ(real time digital twin of the ecosystem).
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