Volocopter’s 2X eVTOL records a first with flight at Helsinki International Airport – gpgmail


The Volocopter 2X air taxi vehicle is now the first electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) craft to fly at an international airport, fully integrated into the same airspace as other commercial passenger craft. It performed this key milestone flight at Helsinki International Airport, in a demonstration mission that showed it successfully integrated with both traditional air traffic management, and air traffic management systems designed specifically for aircraft with no pilot on board controlling the vehicle manually.

The test is intended to show that air traffic management systems which are designed for both traditional piloted flight and autonomous aircraft, including air robotaxis, can operate in concert with one another, even in areas with dense sky traffic – including over cities in future.

Volocopter, which recently unveiled a new version of its eVTOL which it intends to be the version that goes into commercial service once it launches for paying customers, ran tests at Helsinki airport along with AirMap, Altitude Angel and Unifly, all providers of air traffic management services for unpiloted aerial craft. Through the test, they determined that the Volocopter systems work well with each provider, which is a key step towards gaining certification for commercial flight.

The German startup will be flying its 2X vehicle at an event in Stuttgart on September 14, but its next major milestone will be unveiling the new VoloCity commercial craft and its prototype VoloPort take-off and landing facility in Singapore later this year.


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Bell’s innovative VTOL cargo craft takes its first successful autonomous flight – gpgmail


Bell Helicopter’s catchily-named Autonomous Pod Transport 70 (aka APT 70) has managed a major milestone, performing its first autonomous flight during a test at its Forth Worth providing ground. The aircraft is a small vertical take-off and landing craft that users four rotors to provide lift and propulsion once it’s in the air, and it’s a prototype for what Bell hopes will eventually be a small autonomous commercial cargo craft.

APT 70 has a max speed of over 100 mph, and can carry 70 lbs on board, which is good for a fair range of potential applications, including package delivery and even things like humanitarian and rescue missions. Because of the way it flies, switching from vertical to horizontal orientation for its rotors, it can fly much faster than traditional rotor-based aircraft given similar size and power constraints.

Bell’s goal with APT 70 is to successfully simulate a commercial mission as part of the NASA Systems Integration and Operationalization demo set to take place sometime in the middle of next year. This demonstration aims show how the aircraft can be intreated with centralized command and control and obstacle avoidance technologies, a key step in readying autonomous aircraft for commercial service in the U.S.

In addition to its U.S. demonstration mission with NASA, Bell is working with Japanese logistics company Yamato, and hopes to have their first collaborative product in market for on-demand customer deliveries sometime in the middle of next year.


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Volocopter reveals its first commercial aircraft, the VoloCity air taxi – gpgmail


It’s a race to the skies in terms of which company actually deploys an on-demand air taxi service based around electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft – for its part, German startup Volocopter is taking another key step with the revelation of its first aircraft designed for actual commercial use, the VoloCity.

The VoloCity is the fourth-generation eVTOL vehicle that Volocopter has created, but the first three were created for testing and demonstration purposes, and have flown over 1,000 times in service of that goal. The VoloCity, an 18-rotor VTOL with a range of around 35 km (just under 22 miles) and a top speed of about 70 mph, is designed for transporting up to two people, including light luggage like backpacks, briefcases or purses.

VoloCity Top

Volocopter has paid close attention to safety and comfort with this design, meeting the safety standards set by the European Aviation Sfey Agency, and including a new stabilizer that hasn’t been a part of the test aircraft, in rod to provide more stability during flight.

Now, Voloctoper says it’s turning its attention to infrastructure and ecosystem development, which includes establishing its ‘VoloPorts’ for take-off and landing, as well as working with cities on air traffic control. The company says it’s meeting already with global operators that serve this purpose, including Fraport, which runs the Frankfurt International Airport.

As for when VoloCity moves from render to reality, Volocopter says that it’s targeting a first public test flight for Q4 of this year in Singapore, where it’ll also show off the prototype of first first VoloPort, pictured in concept images below.


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