Volocopter Secures Partnerships and Programs

By Kelly Louiseize
Editor Jennifer J. Lacelle
July 8, 2021

Volocopter, one of the world’s advanced air taxi service operations has announced a global groundbreaking electrical pilot training program, and expanding partnerships driving their success.

Teaming with CAE, a global leader in aviation training, Volocopter’s emphasis will be on safety and operationalization of its VoloConnect and VoloCity electrical air taxi aircraft.

Subject to definitive agreement, CAE expects to commit up to (USD) $40 million to develop, certify and deploy an innovative pilot training program for electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOLS) operations. Leveraging its artificial intelligence, virtual reality, mixed reality, along with data analytics technologies, the aviation trainer will collaborate with Volocopter’s lead hands to integrate an urban air mobility ecosystem.

“We will bring our 70 years of experience in training and Volocopter will bring their brand-new technology and together we will train pilots under the safest means possible,” says Chris Courtney, director of advanced air mobility with CAE.

At a high level, CAE will do a comprehensive needs analysis that will determine their training program. They will also be looking to advanced technologies, virtual reality to train mobility pilots of the future.

Experienced pilots will have a leg up in the certification process, particularly operators with fixed wing and helicopter skillsets since Volocopter’s aircraft will be taking off from a confined area.

“Both skillsets need to come together for the aircraft and operations to be successful.”

Volocopter behaves more like a helicopter than a plane, however other urban air mobility (UAM) are fixed wing and aviation authorities worldwide are working to house all air taxis under the same regulations.

Courtney expects UAM training will expand across the globe as Volocopter so requires extending pilot training by weeks or a couple of months.

With a footprint in 35 countries operating 60 training centres for more than 300 airline and courier companies Courtney affirms, “We are committed to making Volocopter successful with their business objectives."

VoloCity, the company’s first commercial aircraft is well into its certifcation process with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and is expected to operate services at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Through existing agreement and partnerships with global leaders such as Daimler, Aéroports de Paris, Microsoft Azure and now CAE, Volocopter plans to launch its services in a number of cities globally within five years.

“We are proud to be partnering with CAE who has a track record of developing best-in-class, innovative training solutions for new aircraft programs,” stated Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter in a press release.

Ramping up production of Volocopter aircraft will come with relative ease. Longtime partner DG Flugzeugbau out of Germany manufactured one of Volocopter’s first electrically multipowered aircraft that received flying permit in 2016 from EASA. It flew in Dubai the following year and in Los Vegas in 2018. The company then manufactured Volocopter 2X, VoloDrone and VoloCity.

Recently, DG Flugzeugbau split its manufacturing division from their design, maintenance and repair operation calling it DG Aviation. This gave Volocopter an opportunity to acquire DG Flugzeugbau’s manufacturing and production line along with their team of 40 experts. They intend to honour existing sailplane contracts while readying a fleet of air taxis for the Olympic Games at their Bruchsal facility near Volocopter’s head office.

“Our ten-year partnership with DG Flugzeugbau has been extraordinary learning experience,” Reuter stated. “Having this legendary industry leader on our side to kick start scalable and affordable UAM for people and cargo has been a game changer.”

Adding to their already 1,000 test flights, Volocopter 2X, their pre-series testing vehicle, took to the skies at the Le Bourget Airfield during the Paris Air Forum June 21, 2021.

It made a three-minute remote controlled electrically powered demonstration vertically lifting 30-meters high with speeds up to 30-kilometers an hour over a 500-meter route. It was the first of its kind in France giving onlookers a real-life experience of what an air taxi looks like in operation.

“The first flight today in Paris highlights Volocopter’s commitment to bring air taxi services to the region in time for the 2024 Olympic Games,” stated Reuter.

Their alliance with the Paris region, Groupe ADP, and RATP Groupe to bring electric air taxis to France is part of a collaborative approach to be the world leader in air mobility.

It also embarks on a multi-step testing and market development campaign with the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC- Direction générale de l’aviation civile) to ensure safety is paramount.

An actual VoloCity model was on the ground for guests to explore. Specialists provided detailed explanations of its workings.

The event was on the heels of yet another announcement to open a local office, expand staff and partnerships with Groupe ADP and RATP Groupe to meet future public demands.

Volocopter is one of the leading pioneers in bringing cleaner more sustainable modes of transportation to hubs around the world. The intent is to nurture urban air mobility thereby diluting congestion and reducing pollution in cities and region sprawl.

Last September 2020, Volocopter was announced as the first vehicle and operations partner for the launch of the urban air mobility industrial branch in Paris.

Each of its aircraft serves specific purposes. For intra-city connections VoloCity reduces transportation time while outlined regions will be serviced by VoloConnect. Cargo is handled by VoloDrone.

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