Volocopter introduces Volocopter 2X eVTOL aircraft at Auto Shanghai 2021
Volocopter and Geely Technology reveal aircraft model, highlighting a cooperation to bring urban air mobility services to the Chinese market.
Photo Credit: Volocopter GmbH
On April 19, Volocopter GbmH (Bruschal, Germany) and global mobility technology company Geely Technology Group (Shanghai, China) presented the Volocopter 2X electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition 2021. The reveal highlighted both company’s cooperation, as Volocopter begins the process of introducing urban air mobility (UAM) services to the Chinese market and create a scalable model for production and operations. Presenting the full-size aircraft for the first time also gave visitors the chance to learn more about this new form of transport and prove its concrete value.
Since announcing Geely’s strategic investment in Volocopter in 2019, the companies have been using their combined expertise in mobility to identify where electric air taxi services could be best introduced in China.
“Geely’s market leadership in China and forward-thinking approach to expanding mobility options make them a great strategic investor,” says Florian Reuter, Volocopter CEO. “They are an invaluable partner for bringing UAM to China — one of the most promising markets for the UAM industry globally.”
Volocopter 2X is known for its safety and exceptionally low noise emission. The aircraft has nine exchangeable batteries powering 18 rotors. This design, says Volocopter, gives the system a remarkably high redundancy, ensuring that even if one or several rotors fail, the aircraft can land safely.
The rotor’s smaller size contribute to the low sound emissions, which are said to resembles the sound of a beehive. According to Volocopter, flying at a height of 100 meters, one will not be able to hear it at regular street noise levels.
“Volocopter is the pioneer and leader of safe, sustainable and practical eVTOL solutions for air taxi services in cities around the world,” adds Charlie Jing, CEO of Aerofugia, a subsidiary of Geely Technology Group. “Together, we will have both the technology and means of production to launch urban air mobility ecosystems in Chinese cities.”
In 2019, the Volocopter 2X successfully flew over Singapore’s Marina Bay, proving that piloted electric air taxi integration in air traffic management (ATM) and unmanned traffic management (UTM) was possible. Presently, the two-seater model, which has previously flown several test campaigns, reportedly represents the electric air taxi vision Volocopter and Geely Technology Group aim to introduce in China.
For future services, Volocopter says it will be using its fifth-generation aircraft, the VoloCity, which is currently in the certification process with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). It will have an increased speed of 110 kilometers per hour, and longer flight duration of 35 minutes (after accounting for reserve battery and headwind).
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