Volocopter Performs First U.S. Public Crewed eVTOL Test Flight

Credit: Lindsay Bjerregaard/AWST

OSHKOSH, Wisconsin—German air taxi company Volocopter achieved an urban air mobility (UAM) milestone at EAA AirVenture here on July 27.

Its 2X model test aircraft performed a 4-min. piloted flight for spectators at the show.

Although Chinese startup EHang has previously conducted a public unmanned test flight of an electric vertical-take-off-and-landing (eVTOL) vehicle in the U.S., Volocopter’s AirVenture demonstration was the first public crewed test flight of a full eVTOL air taxi in the U.S.

“We can talk about our lead in certification, low noise emissions and global partnerships all we want, but nothing shows just how close we are to launch UAM as a service as does flying an air taxi in front of crowds and inviting people to sit in our aircraft,” says Florian Reuter, CEO, Volocopter. “Air taxis are coming, and we are working to bring electric flights to cities around the globe in the next two to three years.”

In June of this year the 2X performed three unmanned flights at Le Bourget Airport in Paris, which were the first in France by an eVTOL and the first to be approved under new European rules for the design verification of unmanned aircraft. The eVTOL completed its first manned flight in Singapore in October 2019.

In addition to the 2X flight demonstration at AirVenture, Volocopter also displayed its newest air taxi model, the VoloCity. Introduced in August 2019, the VoloCity is Volocopter’s fourth generation eVTOL. It features seating for two passengers, 18 rotors and redundancy in all critical systems.

Earlier in July, Volocopter acquired long-time partner DG Flugzeugdau, a German sailplane manufacturer and composites specialist. “We’re acquiring their expertise and also their existing EASA product organization certificate. We’re the only company in this space that both holds a design organization approval as well as a product certificate from EASA to build these vehicles,” says Reuter.

According to Reuter, Volocopter aims to build its eVTOLs at automotive industrial scale by leveraging the expertise of its partners Daimler and Geely. It plans to operate 100,000+ air taxis in cities globally by 2035.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for AviationWeek.com, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.