Volocopter is a company that sees itself as a pioneer in urban air mobility. The company has announced its latest aircraft called the VoloConnect, an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft designed specifically to connect suburbs to cities. VoloConnect is designed to complement other aircraft the company has already revealed that are aimed at transporting goods and people within cities.
VoloConnect has a hybrid lift and push design, with the company expecting the aircraft to achieve certification within the next five years. VoloConnect can travel longer distances than other aircraft in the company’s fleet, opening the urban air mobility concept to cover the suburbs close to cities.
VoloConnect can transport up to four passengers using electricity alone at routes spanning up to 100 kilometers. The aircraft can reach a speed of up to 180 km/h when cruising and a top speed of around 250 km/h. Its design is compact, a necessity for its urban mission, and the design is naturally stable and efficient during forward flight while maintaining a low stall speed.
Currently, Volocopter is flying multiple scale prototypes of the new aircraft, with testing quickly progressing towards full-scale prototypes. The company has filed for several patents on technology used in the aircraft. The design uses six lifting electrical motors and rotors with two propulsive fans.
The landing gear is retractable, helping to enable more efficient flight and more cruising range. It’s unclear how much the aircraft weighs and how fast the battery packs inside the aircraft charge. Presumably, after each direction of the flight, the aircraft will need some time to recharge on the ground. There’s no indication when the company believes it might have commercial flights using the VoloConnect in operation.