Volocopter air taxi flies over Singapore’s Marina Bay
Volocopter, a maker of urban air mobility (UAM) craft, announced it had successfully completed its first manned flight over Singapore’s Marina Bay. This was the last trial of a test series to verify and validate the ability of Volocopter air taxis to fly over the area. Government authorities, including the Ministry of Transport (MOT), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and the Economic Development Board (EDB), supported Volocopter in this testing phase and will continue to do so in the future. This flight kicks-off Volocopter’s efforts to bring commercial air taxi services to Singapore.
“A 2X model of the company’s test series flown by a pilot onboard was used. The flight covered a distance of approximately 1.5 km [0.9 mi] and lasted for two minutes at an average cruising height of 40 m [131 ft].
“The flight today in Singapore was the most advanced Volocopter flight yet, and the piloted flight was as stable as ever. At the same time, we are showcasing a prototype of our full-scale VoloPort Infrastructure, allowing for a realistic demonstration of air taxi boarding and maintenance services. Never before have people been this close to experiencing what Urban Air Mobility in the city of tomorrow will feel like,” said Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.
Leading up to the flight, the aircraft had undergone testing in Germany for several months. Following those tests, a flight test program to verify the Volocopter 2X aircraft performance under local environment was conducted at Seletar Airport in accordance with CAAS.
“Since late 2018, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has been working with Volocopter to facilitate this flight in Singapore. The Volocopter team went through a series of stringent evaluations to ensure that all the necessary safety requirements were met before the flight was allowed to take place. By working closely with companies such as Volocopter, we hope to facilitate innovations for beneficial uses whilst ensuring aviation and public safety,” saidHo Yuen Sang, Director (Aviation Industry) from CAAS.
At the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress 2019, Volocopter and its partner Skyports built the first VoloPort prototype on the floating dock in Marina Bay. VoloPorts are the only physical infrastructure required for air taxis, and they are an important step to commencing operations in cities. They are designed to provide passengers with a seamless air taxi experience that is safe, secure, and integrated into existing infrastructure.
Volocopter opened an office in Singapore in January 2019 and has started to build up a local team to support South East Asia expansion plans. The company recently presented its VoloCity—the next generation eVTOL air taxi, which is designed to comply with EASA requirements. With the recently announced Series C funding round, the company says it will bring the VoloCity to commercial certification.