Volocopter completes first public US test of its air taxi

28 Jul 2021

The Volocopter 2X flying at AirVenture 2021. Image: Volocopter.

The test at a Wisconsin air show comes after the company began to seek US regulatory approval of its service in January.

German air taxi company Volocopter completed what it’s calling “the first ever public crewed test flight” of a fully electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi in the US.

The flight took place yesterday (27 July) at the AirVenture 2021 event hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Volocopter’s 2X aircraft flew for four minutes at a height of approximately 50m and a top speed of 29kph. The company described the crewed flight as a “key milestone” in its plan to raise awareness of air taxis among people around the world.

In January, the company began seeking regulatory approval to eventually bring its commercial air taxi service to the US. Volocopter already has design organisation approval and production organisation approval from the EU air safety regulator.

The company is building a number of vehicles including the VoloCity air taxi, which was on static display at the EAA event this week, and the VoloDrone, a heavy-lift cargo drone. The 2X model first flew with a pilot in 2019 in a Singapore test.

Volocopter raised €200m in Series D funding in March of this year and said that it would be ready to begin commercial flights in urban areas within two years.

Florian Reuter, the company’s CEO, commented: “Volocopter successfully conducting the first US public manned test flight of an eVTOL company in the US is a milestone for the industry and a reminder that our commercial launch is fast approaching.

“Nothing shows just how close we are to launch urban air mobility as a service as does flying an air taxi in front of crowds and inviting people to sit in our aircraft. Air taxis are coming, and we are working to bring electric flights to cities around the globe in the next two to three years.”

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin