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Meet the VoloCity

No more prototypes, ready for take off! German startup Volocopter presented this summer its first air taxi destined for production. Here is how the solution has been tailored-made for inner-city hops

2 min read
© Volocopter
© Volocopter

Presented in last August, the VoloCity is the latest solution proposed by Volocopter, the first designed for actual commercial use. All of its features (number of seats, range, speed...) are related to its mission: to be an inner-city flying taxi and nothing else. The choice of simplicity, for instance (such as direct-drive motors and fixed pitch rotors) makes the solution less costly to manufacture, more reliable (less expensive maintenance and easier to certify), lighter, so more economical and less noisy. Everything is closely linked.


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1. Drive

The wide span and a large number of battery-powered engines and rotors (18 of each) reduce the noise level and generate a frequency that is softer and more pleasant on the ear. It also improves safety: the VoloCity is capable of flying even if several engines are inoperative. The aircraft will fly at “only" 110kmph, which is safer (better collision avoidance) and less noisy than rapid eVTOLs.

2. Cabin

The passenger and the pilot have access and are seated comfortably (Volocopter's analyses show that the large majority of intra-urban passengers travel alone). There is space for hand luggages, air conditioning, silence and a stunning view. Once the regulations will authorise it, the VoloCity will also be able to fly autonomously.

3. Batteries

The VoloCity embarks 9 Lithium-ion exchangeable battery packs. These are recharged on the vertiports. Whenever the aircraft lands in between two flights, batteries can be changed in five minutes to fresh batteries and can take off. Its 35km range makes it possible to connect the most popular destinations (city centres, airports, business centres ...).

4. Skids

Vertical take-off and landing, so no need for wheels nor retractable landing gear. The skids are part of the rationalisation process to reduce weight, breakdowns, production and maintenance costs. Ground operations are ensured by conveyor belts or platforms.

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Chinese Joint Venture Will Begin Mass-Producing an Autonomous Electric Car

With the Robo-01, Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely aim for a fully self-driving car

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A black car sits against a white backdrop decorated with Chinese writing. The car’s doors are open, like a butterfly’s wings. Two charging stations are on the car’s left; two men stand on the right.

The Robo-01 autonomous electric car shows off its butterfly doors at a reveal to the media in Beijing, in June 2022.

Tingshu Wang/Reuters/Alamy
Purple

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