Aircraft

Volocopter announces successful first flight of VoloConnect eVTOL

Volocopter announces successful first flight of VoloConnect eVTOL
The flight lasted just over two minutes, although other test flights have followed
The flight lasted just over two minutes, although other test flights have followed
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The VoloConnect should ultimately have a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph), a cruising speed of 180 km/h (112 mph) and a maximum range of 100 km (62 miles)
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The VoloConnect should ultimately have a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph), a cruising speed of 180 km/h (112 mph) and a maximum range of 100 km (62 miles)
The VoloConnect seats four passengers
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The VoloConnect seats four passengers
The flight lasted just over two minutes, although other test flights have followed
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The flight lasted just over two minutes, although other test flights have followed
The VoloConnect takes to the air
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The VoloConnect takes to the air
View gallery - 4 images

While eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft certainly are fascinating, it's hard to say how many will ever be anything more than concepts. Volocopter's VoloConnect may be the real deal, however, as it flew for the first time last month.

The Bruchsal, Germany-based Volocopter company made the announcement this Tuesday (June 7th), at the UP.Summit transportation tech conference in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Few details on the uncrewed test flight have been disclosed, other than the facts that it took place in May, included a few basic maneuvers, lasted 2 minutes and 14 seconds, and utilized a prototype with "all the planned aerodynamics and performance features of the future commercial product."

Apparently other short flights have taken place since then, as part of an initial phase of testing. That phase will be devoted to assessing the aircraft's low- and high-speed performance, its ability to transition between vertical and horizontal flight, and its ability to compensate for engine failure while in flight. Already, the eVTOL has successfully reached a top forward speed of 64 km/h (40 mph) and a sideways speed of 45 km/h (28 mph).

The VoloConnect takes to the air
The VoloConnect takes to the air

As far as basic specs go, the VoloConnect features six rotors for vertical takeoffs and landings, along with two electric fans that work with its fixed wings to create lift for forward light. It's capable of carrying four passengers, and should ultimately have a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph), a cruising speed of 180 km/h (112 mph) and a maximum range of 100 km (62 miles).

Plans call for it to enter service in 2026. You can see a few highlights of its first flight in the video below.

It should also be noted that Volocopter's shorter-haul VoloCity eVTOL (formerly known as the 2X) has already made several crewed public flights.

VoloConnect: Prototype in First Flight | Volocopter

Source: Volocopter

View gallery - 4 images
12 comments
12 comments
PrometheusGoneWild.com
Not one of these companies is shooting for the right market.
It’s not about the Air Taxi market.
It’s about cargo, and facility to facility delivery.
I’m not saying there is no Air taxi market. What I am saying is UPS and FedEx have really deep pockets and could fuel this new technology and speed up development.
Amit Regev
Are you sure? Is that a real flight? Looks like computer simulation for me
Towerman
"it's hard to say how many will ever be anything more than concepts. "

Ehang is flying commercially and Joby is making enormous progress. So those are 2 definates.

As for Voloconnect, Personally to me it looks somewhat fragile, the rotors are too big too which equals slow response and more drag... 6 rotors however is good so at least there is redundency.

Not sure if the original Volo project is still going but Volo did make big progress in terms of commercial flight the past 2 years.. quiet now so who knows. The top dogs right now is E-Hang and Joby.

@prometheus. Cargo Evtols will come. But initial commercialization will start via Taxi services first.
martinwinlow
@ Amit Regev - I'm afraid you have been spending too much time playing computer games.
michael_dowling
Almost all these eVTOLs use exotic tilting rotor designs,which are very expensive to get FAA approval for. Designs that are already approved have a real leg up on the competition. One I have been following is based on the gyrocopter configuration, a design category the FAA has already accepted,and is being built by Jaunt Air Mobility https://newatlas.com/aircraft/jaunt-air-mobility-evtol-gyrodyne-air-taxi/
Marco McClean
It's pretty. It looks strong and light, with everything braced by everything else. and plenty of wing area. It looks perfect for an air ambulance for a small rural town hospital, where a straight-line 120 mph flight could save hours over a road vehicle's round trip.
Towerman
@michael dowling. Seems you are stuck in the 90s when the ospreys was made. Todays Evtols are not nearly as complicated, the gyrodene is old tech and not relevant to Evtols and you require a runway to take off and land. So sorry up your knowledge on the latest there is a whole world of practical pioneering taking place ;)
Towerman
@Marco
Indeed one of the niche's Evtols will fill.
White Rabbit
@Towerman Not sure why you're an "expert" but it seems that you too need to do some research.
The article to which michael_dowling refers was written in 2020, not the 90s.
The first Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey was delivered to USMC in 2005, and there were 375 being operated by U.S. Armed Forces by 2019, so it would appear that gyrodyne technology is far from "irrelevant".
The Jaunt is VTOL. The 'V' stands for Vertical. There is no need for a runway,
Finally, use a spelling & grammar checker!
michael_dowling
Towerman: Read the articles about Jaunt's work. It is NOT based on the Gyrodyne aircraft. Jaunt's work is based on research by a company ( http://carteraero.com/home2/ ) studying slowed rotor technology. The eVTOL Jaunt is working on would have vertical takeoff/landing capability,as the main rotor can be spun up before liftoff. This design is better than other eVTOL concepts,as there is no death zone-Jaunt's rotor is always turning. The Osprey design is a deathtrap,as lift is provided by twin rotors. If something happens to one of the rotors,you are dead,as the design's many crashes can testify to.
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