Volocopter has presented its latest aircraft called VoloConnect. This electric, vertical take-off aircraft, eVTOL in short, is specially designed to connect suburbs and inner cities.
As Volocopter announced during the presentation at the EBACE Connect conference, the VoloConnect will offer space for up to four passengers. The eVTOL is designed to cover distances of 100 kilometres at a cruising speed of 180 km/h and a top speed of around 250 km/h.
“VoloConnect embodies the next dimension of our mission to offer affordable, efficient, and sustainable flight mobility solutions for cities around the globe,” says CEO Florian Reuter. “Leveraging customer insights from our existing VoloCity and VoloDrone, VoloConnect’s capacity to support longer missions and higher payloads serves another strong growing market demand.” The VoloDrone is a cargo drone, while the VoloCity is the familiar two-seater with its signature 18 rotors.
The VoloConnect is not a slightly larger version of the two-seater but follows a completely different concept, described by Volocopter as a “hybrid lift and push design”. The VoloConnect has only six rotors, which are attached to conspicuously large wings. On the cabin itself, two thrusters are also attached. These “push fans” are intended to provide propulsion in flight, while the six rotors provide lift in combination with the airflow over the wings generated by the propulsion of the push fan. According to Volocopter, this should increase stability and efficiency in forwarding flight.
According to the release, the team, led by VoloConnect chief engineer Sebastian Mores, has been working on the flying device for more than two years and has filed several patents for the technology. Several flyable prototypes of the VoloConnect have apparently already been tested, but probably scale models: As Volocopter points out, the team is making “rapid progress towards testing a full-scale prototype”.
However, it will be some time before the model goes into series production and can be used commercially. According to Volocopter, the design should be brought to certification “within the next five years”.