Volocopter published „Pioneering the Urban Air Taxi Revolution” a white paper authored by Jan-Hendrik Boelens, CTO of Volocopter. The paper discusses current challenges associated with developing, certifying and launching air taxis in the megacities of the world and aims to offer solutions to those challenges. Primarily, the paper focuses on the topics safety & certification, noise emissions, range & speed, operating costs, capacity, and usability. Key take-aways include:
- There is no single „best” eVTOL concept, because mission is paramount when designing electrically powered aircraft. The Volocopter, for instance, is designed for the commercial intra-city urban air mobility mission (UAM) so-called air taxis.
- Air taxis serving the intra-city UAM mission need to cover the most popular high-traffic routes in major cities, offering meaningful time savings and/or allow connections between points that are not well served by current options. The paper shows that a range of 25 to 35 km is viable and a valid starting point to develop the market. The Volocopter with its initial range can offer inner-city taxi as well as airport shuttle services in more than 90% of relevant megacities.
- Noise emissions of aircrafts are a decisive factor for urban air taxi acceptance. The Volocopter has emerged as one of the leading designs as to (low) noise signature, making it suitable to fly into the populated centres of megacities.
- Certification standards for air taxis have been defined by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and Volocopter supports these high safety standards. Safety and certifiability are strongly connected to simplicity, which is a major driver of the Volocopter design.
- Pricing is a key factor in making air taxis accessible to a large customer base. Keeping operating costs low to build a scalable business will allow for accessible pricing.
Volocopter’s aircraft design focuses on serving the inner-city short-range mission. Boelens makes a case for the simple, safe, and certifiable aircraft design Volocopter has been pursuing since their early days by outlining and explaining some of the technological design decisions Volocopter has taken.