eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) air taxis are emerging as a revolutionary means of transportation across metro areas. Though no urban air mobility service exists at the moment, plenty of startups have touted their future air taxi designs and or test flights.
One company that could be way ahead of the competition is closer than ever to commercialization.
German aircraft manufacturer Volocopter GmbH announced Tuesday that it had received Production Organization Approval (POA) with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Notably, Volocopter was the first eVTOL company to obtain Design Organizations Approvals (DOA) in 2019.
Volocopter also announced it had acquired German manufacturer of sailplanes DG Flugzeugbau for production of the new eVTOL. This means with a DOA and POA, the future towards a commercial launch could be in a few years.
"Our ten-year partnership with DG Flugzeugbau has been an extraordinary learning experience. Having this legendary industry leader on our side to kick-start scalable and affordable UAM [urban air mobility] for people and cargo has been a game-changer. Today marks an exciting milestone as we unify DG Flugzeugbau's leadership in aviation production with Volocopter's pioneering UAM goals to establish yet another crucial stepping-stone for our collective global endeavors," said Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.
As populations increase and metro areas become larger, urban air mobility services using eVTOLs could be the solution to decrease congested highways. Urban air mobility is faster and cleaner than traditional ground-based vehicles.
Volocopter's certifications with EASA are recognized across global markets and positions it to launch future services in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Volocopter recently unveiled its new winged eVTOL that can cruise around 110 mph, with a range of about 60 miles, and carry a payload of 660 to 880 pounds.
Volocopter's first passenger flight may happen in the second half of 2023 in Singapore.
By 2024, United Airlines is preparing to launch an eVTOL service of its own.