The German electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) developer Volocopter has completed a multi-day flight test campaign in Japan as it prepares to carry passengers at EXPO 2025.
Between December 7 and 13, 2023, Volocopter flew its 2X crewed eVTOL aircraft in the Japanese cities of Osaka and Amagasaki.
Activities in Japan were designed to “acclimate the crew, communications tools, and flight test procedures” ready for EXPO 2025 which is being held in Osaka.
As well as testing aircraft operations under conditions like those expected in 2025, the visit to the Far East was a chance to “accelerate the public awareness” of eVTOL aircraft.
As well as local guests, including the Osaka governor and Osaka City mayor, over 200 students were invited to attend the final day of flight tests.
The flight tests were conducted at the Osaka Heliport in proximity to the planned EXPO 2025 pavilion location in Osaka Bay.
To successfully operate flights at EXPO 2025, Volocopter is collaborating with Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), air traffic controllers, emergency response teams, and infrastructure owners.
Volocopter performed multiple successful flight tests with their #eVTOL aircraft. One flight path was a potential panoramic route that will be available to the public in the future. Find out more about the event here: https://t.co/PjRwzhEXVL pic.twitter.com/jrRD4dQq8n— Volocopter (@volocopter) December 13, 2023
“As a novel technology, public awareness of eVTOLs and the creation of the UAM ecosystem are where we need to focus for Japan. Volocopter and partners are preparing early for the 2025 Expo to have the advanced know-how to operate our eVTOLs seamlessly when the time comes,” Christian Bauer, Managing Director of Volocopter, said.
Volocopter 2X also performed an aircraft behavioral flight with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
Volocopter plans to launch its first passenger service at the Paris Olympics in 2024. It has long been predicted that these flights could be the first commercially operated eVTOL aircraft flights in the world.
However, in November 2023, local politicians in Paris voiced concerns about the idea of flying taxis operating above the French capital during the Olympics.
According to French news outlet The Local, the Deputy Mayor of Paris said eVTOL flights at the Olympics were a “totally useless, hyper-polluting gimmick for a few ultra-privileged people in a hurry”.