In 2016, e-Volo (a German company) caught the world’s attention after sending its first 18-rotor Volocopter, with a breathing human aboard, into the sky. Their primary goal was to deploy the thing as a future individual flying taxi. They have made several revisions to the Volocopter and, now, they have unveiled the sleeker Volocopter 2 Air Taxi, which they will begin testing in the year 2018. More like the Ehang Taxi Drone which is ready to start ferrying passengers in Dubai, the new Volocpter 2 all-electric machine will ferry up to two individuals from one point to the other without a pilot. The machine lands and lifts up vertically and will hover into places when need arise. For powering reasons, it boasts nine independent batteries.
The Volocopter 2 Air Taxi’s design
Even though the manufacturer has described it as sportier, the Volocopter 2 Air Taxi has a similar design to that of the original Volocopter. Whatever the aesthetics, e-Volo says that the machine is their debut series model and forms part of a consequent evolution of their earlier prototype toward daily use. In other words, the product operates on swappable batteries and therefore if the batteries are completely drained, it will take off within a few minutes.
However, to win approval in Germany as an ultra-light aircraft, e-Volo had to craft it mindfully. It will therefore be certified in a new Germany aircraft category as a multicopter starting 2018. The new certification will clear way for everyone with a Sport Pilot License to start flying. But until then, we will witness manufacturers using pre-series models for testing and demonstrations.
e-Volo is planning to start its trials with the Volocopter 2 in 2018. The trials will demonstrate the machine’s suitability for future flying taxi services. To control the machines, pilots have to comply with all regulations. On the ground, pilots will control the aircraft remotely. It may also fly automatically even though the manufacturer has to test the capability without any passenger aboard.
Even more, the manufacturer is working to develop a four-seated version of the aircraft and eventual gain of commercial registration for the Volocopter will allow them to roll out their full-fledged air taxi services.
Which are the key features of the Volocopter 2 Air Taxi?
- The Volocopter 2 Air Taxi uses electric and 18 gently humming rotors to take off.
- The pilot operates it single-handedly with the single joystick which reduces major reason behind most fatal helicopter accidents – human error.
- The original two-seat design relies on two battery packs with a flight time duration ranging between 20 and 30 minutes.
- According to the manufacturer, it is likely to be the most environmentally friendly helicopter.
- e-Volo also claims that it will stand out as the world’s safest air taxi because it is less likely to crash if any rotor fails.
How was the first flight?
Pilot Alexander Zosel said that the first flight was awesome and the airplane landed safely on the airfield in Southern Germany. Lifting off, flying for a few meters and taking the hand off the joystick to him was a sublime feeling. He felt as if he was standing on a flat ground but realised that he was flying high after looking down. According to him, e-Volo has achieved unbelievable thing.
The manufacturer has designed the multicopter with automatic control, meaning that it can hover at certain altitudes without the pilot operating it. To show off this technology, Zoshel had to take off his hand from the joystick and gave the ground team two thumbs-up. Zoshel adds that the whole process prior to the lift-off was effortless. He got into the aircraft, they did the pre-checks – which lasted for around 20 seconds – and after that, he was ready to fly. Alexander Zosel did not wait long; he simply pushed the only lever upward and the aircraft sprung upwards in a single move. In February 2016, German aviation officials granted e-Volo a permit-to-fly the ultra-light aircraft. That was roughly three years after the company had started developing it.
The machine’s safety features
The Volocopter 2 Air taxi is electricity powered and has many safety features thanks to the design featuring 18 rotors. That ensures safe landing in case any rotor fails. The autonomous flying or the autopilot feature enables movement of people from one location to the other without any human intervention or need for flight license holders. The airplane has passed the German Aviation Authority rigorous standards which apply higher safety and security in operating and designing aircrafts.
The aircraft’s specifications and the interior
The autonomous aircraft has several unique features which the top security and safety standards have highlighted. The multiple redundancies in every critical component including motors, propellers, electronics, power source and flight controls are also efficient. It also flaunts a full airplane emergency parachute, battery quick-change and plug-in system, nine independent battery systems and the fast battery charging takes 40 minutes.
Another feature that is noticeable is the leather seats for two individuals and luxurious interiors. The machine is environmentally friendly because it is clean electricity powered, has lower noise and has around 30 minutes flight time at a speed of 50Km/h. The volocopter measures around 2 meters in height and rotor rim, including the propellers, measures around seven meters. You will possibly take the shortest time to reach various destinations in a few years to come.
The main benefits of the Volocopter 2 Air Taxi
The Volocopter 2 Air Taxi is a representation of the advancements in the urban mobility world. With a passenger aboard, the Volocopter took to Germany skies for a successful three minutes voyage using the gently humming rotors and the eco-friendly electric propulsion. In addition to offering widespread use in the conventional aircraft domains, the aircraft has brought us closer to full transportation systems and airplane taxi services in third dimensions. The multicopter travelled between 20 and 25 meters in the sky. It boasts automatic altitude control and can hover without being controlled. Controlling it is similar to controlling an automatic car and several manufacturers are also working to develop similar airplanes.
Latest posts by Laura Brookes (see all)
- Under Construction Page Review - January 13, 2018
- How To Choose The Right Hoverboard: Everything You Need To Know - November 8, 2017
- Salt Gun: A Self-Defence Weapon That Shoots Pepper Spray Capsules - September 21, 2017