German UAM company Volocopter has flown its 2X eVTOL aircraft at Paris Le Bourget airport during the Paris Air Forum. With the flight demonstration of its Volocopter 2X and the VoloCity model onsite, the developer demonstrated the progress it is making to introduce eVTOL aircraft as an addition to existing transportation in the Paris region.
The three-minute remote controlled flight was the first public flight demonstration of an electrically powered air taxi in France. It gave the public a real-life experience of what an air taxi looks and sounds like in operations. Attendees watched as the Volocopter 2X flew a 500 metre route at speeds up to 30 km/h and 30 metres high along the Le Bourget airport. This flight marks the beginning of a multi-step test and market development campaign in cooperation with the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) to safely bring electric air taxis to the Île-de-France region.
“The first flight in Paris highlights Volocopter's commitment to bringing air taxi services to this region in time for the 2024 Olympic Games,” says Florian Reuter, Volocopter CEO. “The alliance of the Paris region, Groupe ADP, and RATP Group and their intent to bring electric air taxis to France is a stellar example of the collaborative approach we see to be the most successful for adding this exciting category of mobility to cities globally.”
Volocopter was the first vehicle and operations partner for the launch of the urban air mobility industrial branch in Paris. Now the company is planning to open a local office and is recruiting staff and expanding local partnerships to ensure the new UAM solutions meet local demands. Volocopter is also working on an agreement with Parisienne airport operator Groupe ADP and state-owned Parisienne public transport operator RATP Group to collaborate for the 2024 Olympics to enhance regional connectivity in a meaningful way and showcase the benefits and key attributes of urban air mobility.
Deputy CEO of Groupe ADP Edward Arkwright says: “We are closer than ever before in France to experiencing electric aviation. Volocopter is a vivid example of what the future of aviation could look like, both carbon-free and innovative, that Groupe ADP wants to accompany thanks to our infrastructure assets, expertise and know-how. Along with the other partners of the RE.Invent Air Mobility initiative, Volocopter is now ready to enter a first test flight campaign by September on the Pontoise airfield sandbox we have been building up in the past months. And we are thrilled to be partnering with it, RATP Group and DGAC towards our objective of flight demonstrations in the Paris region during the 2024 Olympic Games, to lay the foundation of a strong UAM industrial ecosystem in France.”
Director of strategy, innovation and development of RATP Group Marie-Claude Dupuis adds: “After having responded as the first player in the urban air mobility industry, in the context of the call for expressions of interest, we are very pleased that Volocopter has confirmed its development and its establishment in France. For RATP Group, this new mobility aims to complement our traditional transport modes.”
Volocopter is well advanced in the certification process with EASA for commercial launch. As the first and only eVTOL developer with DOA from EASA, Volocopter is leading the way to introduce sustainable UAM solutions to cities around the world. Volocopter's approach to introducing these services is to create a UAM ecosystem in which passengers and goods experience seamless connectivity with their cities via Volocopter's mobility solutions: VoloCity (intra-city connections), VoloConnect (city-suburb connections), VoloDrone (cargo drone) and VoloPorts (take-off and landing sites) which are all fully integrated on the digital platform VoloIQ.