Aircraft

Volocopter performs South Korea's first crewed air taxi flight

Volocopter performs South Kore...
The Volocopter 2X covered around 3 km (1.86 miles) in its test flight over Gimpo International Airport in Seoul
The Volocopter 2X covered around 3 km (1.86 miles) in its test flight over Gimpo International Airport in Seoul
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Volocopter Test Pilot Damian Hischier after a successful test flight at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul
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Volocopter Test Pilot Damian Hischier after a successful test flight at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul
The Volocopter 2X takes off over Gimpo International Airport
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The Volocopter 2X takes off over Gimpo International Airport
The Volocopter 2X covered around 3 km (1.86 miles) in its test flight over Gimpo International Airport in Seoul
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The Volocopter 2X covered around 3 km (1.86 miles) in its test flight over Gimpo International Airport in Seoul
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Volocopter's ambitions in the flying taxi space have taken another step forward, with the startup's electric aircraft performing its first crewed flight in South Korea. This also marks the country's first demonstration of a crewed eVTOL aircraft, as it eyes a proper lift-off for a commercial air taxi service a few years down the track.

This latest jaunt for the Volocopter, featuring its 2X aircraft, follows a long line of test flights for the German outfit, which include crewed outings in Singapore Bay in 2019 and in the US earlier this year. Many uncrewed test flights have also taken place since the Volocopter popped up as a crowdfunded project back in 2013, but this latest test flight is just the second in Asia with people onboard, as the company ramps up its operations in the region.

The flight took place at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul on Thursday, with the Volocopter 2X rising to an altitude of 50 m (164 ft), covering a distance of around 3 km (1.86 miles) and hitting a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph). The five-minute flight was part of an event conducted by South Korea's Ministry for Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), called "Open the Urban Sky," as the country moves to position itself at the forefront of the flying taxi industry.

The Volocopter 2X takes off over Gimpo International Airport
The Volocopter 2X takes off over Gimpo International Airport

“With MOLIT’s comprehensive K-UAM (urban air mobility) roadmap, South Korea is well positioned to achieve the goal of commercializing UAM by 2025," says Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter. "We are extremely honored to conduct the nation’s first crewed public eVTOL test flight today and prove yet again that the future of air taxis is here and now with Volocopter’s aircraft. As the pioneers of the UAM industry, we look forward to working closely with friends and partners from both the government agencies and private sectors to make UAM a reality in South Korea.”

Volocopter established an office in Singapore back in 2018 ahead of its public test flight the following year, and has also teamed up with ridesharing company Grab to conduct a feasibility study on high-potential routes between megacities in Southeast Asia. Another test flight is scheduled to take place at Seoul's Incheon International Airport as part of Korea's K-UAM conference on November 16.

You can check out the Gimpo Airport test flight below.

Volocopter 2X Flies at Gimpo Airport, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Source: Volocopter

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8 comments
8 comments
CAVUMark
Why must pilots always pose with the thumbs up?
Steven Clarkson
Outstanding ! ! ! !
Towerman
Why what did you expect, thumbs down ?? It's thumbs up all the way ! Well done VOLO !
guzmanchinky
I wonder how these will work in my everyday life? They are too big to park at my home, maybe folding arms and in the garage? But I have nowhere to take off and land from either. So it can't replace my car for longer distances (let's say 100 miles or so) yet. The only real car replacement would be if it folded up into a normal parking space, then you drive it over to a public launch and landing pad? Maybe someday...
Adrian Akau
The design is good. It should work.
Towerman
@guzmanchinky
Yes Volo is not exactly the smallest EVTOL out there. But.. there is always a but. And this one is revolutionary.

Volo is the first proven robust, comercially viable platform (ok not the only one, Joby and Ehang as well, that will begin the transformation and implementation of EVTOL's into society.

It will be used as a short hop taxi service taking off and landing from specifically designated pods scattered in strategic places. And that is the big "Eureka" factor.
It is the beginning of this exciting new era taking foothold into practical everyday life.
Towerman
Usable as is already and being commercially used they will.

From here these companies and others will refine the technology.
Really the Volo and the others just mentioned is already perfect for it's niche and i expect them to be in use for many years as commercial platforms being refined here and there. But stil practically the same platform.

However from here smaller craft could be designed and developed for the individual consumer. Cityhawk comes to mind as a first generation example that already does fly.
I am not sure if the project is still going however it worked.

I definately also imagine folding arms and props into the body fuselage of smaller individual consumer type evtol's in future for sure.
But for now i am embracing what we have that is practically and commercially viable.
Just the fact that we will have these bigger platforms operating on a commercial basis is paving the way for unlimited future potential !
Nelson Hyde Chick
Another toy for rich people so they don't have mingle with us peons.