German air taxi firm Volocopter announced that the VoloConnect, a four-seater electric vertical and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, has completed its first flight, after 17 months of development.
The VoloConnect prototype flew for more than two minutes and performed a few maneuvers.
“Having a whole family of electric aircraft in the test flight phase is a pioneering feat. Volocopter’s leadership in the industry stems from announcing plans and then delivering them visibly with public test flights. Our technology platform is the foundation for our family of aircraft approach and has proven to deliver results at an astounding speed,” said Florian Reuter, Volocopter CEO.
The VoloConnect eVTOL is the company’s third product following the two-seater VoloCity and the VoloDrone, and it is 100% electric. VoloConnect also boasts a maximum range of 100 kilometers and a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour.
“This is an extraordinary moment for us – seeing the VoloConnect soar to the sky marks the achievement of one of our key milestones and demonstrates just what we are capable of in a short time and in line with the company’s overall strategy for crewed and uncrewed aircraft,” chief engineer of VoloConnect, Sebastian Mores added.
Volocopter is currently aiming to achieve certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to operate the air taxi commercially. The company anticipates that commercial operation of the aircraft could begin as soon as 2024.
Additionally, the company expects to operate six bases, known as VoloPorts, by 2030.