Volocopter has opened its production facilities in Bruchsal, Germany. The company marked this milestone with the opening of a new hangar that will host the company's final assembly line with an airfield to conduct development flight tests as well as quality checks. All of Volocopter's company-owned production sites, which will manufacture the first EASA-certified electric air taxis, will ramp up into full operation in April. From this facility, electric air taxis made in Germany will be deployed across the world, offering commercial services starting next year.
Volocopter's production facilities have the capacity, and more importantly the regulatory approval, to assemble more than 50 VoloCity aircraft each year. And this is the final step of the production set up that Volocopter has been expanding in Bruchsal over the past 18 months. Since 2021, the company has held an approval as production organisation in compliance with EASA regulation. This certification covers the entire VoloCity production process. It includes the manufacturing of carbon fibre parts, all aspects of the electric propulsion unit, final assembly with decking of the propulsion system and fuselage, and extensive end-of-line flight tests.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on 4 April, 2023 at the hangar. The event also featured a crewed flight of the Volocopter 2X. Key guests included federal minister of digital affairs and transport Dr Volker Wissing; minister of the state of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann; federal government coordinator for German aerospace policy Dr Anna Christmann; and upward of 70 business and political representatives.
Volocopter CEO Dirk Hoke says: “Right here is where the aircraft that will change how humanity moves about cities will take off and make its way across the world. This region is known for transforming mobility; the bicycle, the car and soon Volocopter too. Electric air taxis and Volocopter in particular is a technology made in Germany that will make the world a more sustainable place.”
Chief supply chain officer and VoloCity programme manager Andreas Fehring adds: “The VoloCity has completed the critical design review, and that's the aircraft we're ready to produce with enough leeway for further learnings derived from flight testing. It's no easy task to set up a production facility for an entirely new type of aircraft, but my team has done a phenomenal job.”
Dr Wissing says: “Germany is already a world leader in the development of air taxis, thanks in part to Volocopter's great pioneering spirit. I would like to support and build on this leading role by creating a framework that enables innovation and progress. We are working with key industry players on a strategy for air taxi operations here in Germany, in which all technical and legal issues are addressed without delay. We are doing this so that the first drones carrying people and goods can take off very soon.”
Volocopter develops electrically powered air taxis that are set to transform urban transportation. With its family of aircraft (the VoloCity, VoloRegion and VoloDrone), the company takes a unique approach by developing UAM as a holistic ecosystem. As the first and only eVTOL company to receive design organisation approval (DOA) from EASA, and over 10 years of development experience, Volocopter is the clear leader in this airspace. The German company has committed to launching commercial air taxi services in cities like Singapore, Rome, NEOM and Paris as early as 2024.