The need for speed and the desire to go green. What might have been considered the dream of idealists a little more than a decade ago is closer than ever to becoming reality thanks to the use of disruptive technologies.
eVTOLs: the air mobility revolution of tomorrow?
VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing aircraft) is a project of flying cabs in progress which could decongest the roads, the scourge of urban areas.
Today, there are several dozens of VTOL projects intended for specific uses or to become flying cabs. For example, Larry Page (co-founder of Google) is financing two start-ups on this subject (Opener and Kitty Hawk). Uber is working on its own electric and autonomous flying cab, in partnership with the Californian start-up Joby Aviation. Its eVTOLs are scheduled to go into service in 2023.
A $35 billion market in 2035:
According to a study by the consulting firm Oliver Wyman published in November 2019, the future market for flying cabs could be worth more than $35 billion in 2035 and would involve 60 to 90 cities worldwide, and especially the congested megacities of Asia and America.
Volocopter: A fundraising to continue its development.
The German start-up announced on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 that it has raised €200 million to continue the development of its flying cab called VoloCity. A fundraising conducted with all its investors, (historical and new), new investors such as BlackRock, Avala Capital, Atlantia S.p.A., Continental AG, NTT, Tokyo Century and others. The unicorn has raised a total of €322 million since its creation.
First successful test in France:
Successful bet for Volocopter, the German company succeeded on Monday, June 21 the first French test of its electric flying cab at the Paris Air Forum organized at Le Bourget.
The aircraft took off from Le Bourget airport for a three-minute flight, reaching 30 km/h and 30 meters in height. The VoloCity, entirely electric, is equipped with 18 motors and nine batteries. It can carry two people including a pilot. It flies at 110 km/h, at an altitude of 400 to 500 meters and with a range of 35 km.
This test represents a first step in the urban air mobility project in Ile-de-France based on flying cabs. Indeed, the German company Volocopter was selected to be the first to carry out tests following a call for expressions of interest launched by the urban transport operator RATP and the Paris airports manager ADP Group.
Demonstrations at the 2024 Olympic Games:
The group’s objective is to be fully operational for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, even if the main objective remains to be able to propose a commercial offer in 2030.
Volocopter will not be alone on this project. It has been selected alongside Europe’s Airbus and China’s Ehang to develop a flying cab demonstrator for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
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