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Ambitious effort

Volocopter expands its fleet

Volocopter, which in 2011 was among the first to introduce an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) design, recently announced its newest venture—the four-seat VoloConnect.

It joins the company’s existing designs, the two-seat VoloCity and VoloDrone. The VoloConnect is the Munich-based company’s most ambitious effort yet. Unlike the VoloCity, which has a 19-nautical-mile range and a 59-knot maximum cruise speed, the company says the VoloConnect can fly at ranges up to 54 nm at its cruise speed of 97 knots.

The VoloConnect’s configuration is a departure from the VoloCity’s circular array of 18 motor/rotors. The new design has a fixed wing with six rotors for vertical lift, plus two pylon-mounted propulsion fans for cruise flight. From all appearances the aircraft is also equipped with retractable landing gear. Both designs employ lithium battery/electric power systems. The VoloCity is meant for shuttling within city limits; the VoloConnect is aimed at those wanting to travel from cities to their suburbs.

Meanwhile, the VoloDrone is designed as an autonomous baggage-hauler for VoloCity and VoloConnect passengers. When passengers arrive at one of Volocopter’s strategically placed VoloPorts, the VoloDrone will be hot on their heels with the luggage. The VoloPort concept has been demonstrated in Singapore

The new VoloConnect logged its first flight in June 2022, while the VoloCity has reached 1,000 flights in its development program. The VoloCity is expected to enter service in 2024, with the VoloConnect targeting a 2026 commercial launch.

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Thomas A. Horne

Thomas A. Horne

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.

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