VoloConnect Expands Total Addressable Market for Volocopter’s Family of eVTOL Aircraft to USD 290 Billion
Today at UP.Summit, an annual gathering of transportation innovation leaders hosted by investment company UP.Partners, Urban Air Mobility (UAM) pioneer Volocopter announced that it has reached another milestone in bringing UAM to life: its fixed-wing passenger aircraft, the VoloConnect, completed its maiden flight in May 2022. This achievement makes Volocopter the only eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft) developer in the world to have a full fleet of different aircraft configurations undergoing flight testing.
Volocopter’s third product solution, the VoloConnect, provides further and faster travel than any other Volocopter aircraft to date, with a range of over 100 km and flight speeds of over 250 km/h. The passenger plane’s increased range and payload will take business travelers and commuters outside of the city center on routes such as Burbank to Huntington Beach in Los Angeles, CA. With the VoloCity and VoloConnect air taxi designs meeting the demand for metropolitan flights and suburban connections in densely populated regions respectively, Volocopter is poised to serve a wider range of passenger flight needs. In addition, the VoloConnect aims for commissioning in 2026, while the VoloCity targets a commercial launch in 2024.
— Volocopter CEO
“It is a groundbreaking achievement to have a whole family of electric aircraft in the test flight phase. Volocopter’s industry leadership comes from announcing plans and then making them visible through public test flights. Our technology platform is the foundation for our family of aircraft approaches and has been proven to deliver results at astonishing speed. Volocopter takes these innovative designs from the ground, into the air and then to cities around the world!”
A dedicated team in Munich, led by Sebastian Mores, Chief Engineer, VoloConnect, is responsible for this success in bringing the VoloConnect prototype to life.
— Volocopter Chief Engineer – VoloConnect
“This is an extraordinary moment for us – seeing the VoloConnect take to the sky marks the achievement of one of our major milestones and demonstrates what we are capable of in a short time and in line with the company’s overall strategy for manned and unmanned aerial vehicles. In addition, new technologies will be tested that will be implemented gradually during the overall program development.”
Volocopter has designed the VoloConnect and its other eVTOL aircraft to meet the highest aviation safety standards according to EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency). The prototype completed its maiden flight in May 2022 after just 17 months in the making, performing some maneuvers for 2 minutes 14 seconds during its maiden flight. The prototype has all the planned aerodynamics and performance characteristics of the future commercial product.
The VoloConnect is a lift-and-cruise aircraft optimized for missions outside of urban and suburban space. The six rotors keep moving parts to a minimum and facilitate vertical take-off, while two electric fans combined with upward wings ensure high forward speeds. The VoloConnect prototype is currently undergoing a demanding series of flight tests to verify that the aircraft and its systems are in compliance with performance limits and prepared for the next development steps. This phase includes a range of different tests, including standardized low-speed, transition, high-speed and engine failure tests for automated and later autonomous flights – all standard tests for an eVTOL passenger aircraft manufacturer. During the first three test flights of this campaign, the team was able to verify a significant portion of the eVTOL range during testing at forward speeds of up to 40 mph and 45 mph sideways flight speeds. The test flight envelope will be opened gradually over the coming weeks as part of the test flight campaign.
VoloConnect is poised to boost Volocopter’s overall addressable UAM market alongside existing members of the aircraft family, the VoloDrone and VoloCity. The technological differences between the VoloCity and VoloConnect passenger aircraft are countless. The main thing to note are their unique configuration designs for their specific flight missions, with the multirotor VoloCity air taxi ready to serve intracity routes, while its bigger lift-and-cruise sibling will focus on longer urban and suburban missions.
For future services, Volocopter plans to fully integrate all three aircraft into individualized UAM urban ecosystems and leverage the digital VoloIQ platform to unify all of the company’s flight operations, passenger services, maintenance and more for a seamless mobility experience.