Volocopter will test its flying taxi in Singapore

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German VTOL manufacturer Volocopter will be performing test flights of its air taxi prototype in Singapore next year.

The tests will be supported by the Singapore Ministry of Transport, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Economic Development Board (EDB). The flight tests will culminate in public demo flights.

Alongside these flight tests, Volocopter is also setting up a product design and engineering team in Singapore to support further air taxi service expansion in the region.

“We are getting ready to start implementing the first fixed routes in cities,” said Florian Reuter CEO of Volocopter. “Singapore is a logical partner: The city is a true pioneer in technology and city development. We are confident this is another exciting step to make air taxi services a reality.”

The Volocopter prototypes have preliminary flight permits in Germany and are currently working with EASA to receive commercial flight certification.

Things have been quiet on the testing front with Volocopter since its initial public demo tests in Dubai in September 2017. Volocopter partnered with the Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai to work to launch a full-scale version of its air taxi service in the city.

Mr. Ho Yuen Sang, Director (Aviation Industry), CAAS said: “There is potential for air taxis, or eVTOLs, to transform mobility and logistics in urban cities. Volocopter is at the forefront of such new and innovative technology in the aviation industry. CAAS is pleased to work together with Volocopter to study the technical capabilities and develop appropriate operational guidelines to facilitate such trials in Singapore.”

Volocopter timeline

The Volocopter first caught the attention of the public in 2011 when the company’s founder Stephan Wolf flew its first prototype – an exercise ball with 12 electric rotors attached. This was the first time that a human had flown on a fully-electric aircraft.

This gave the German company a head-start over many other developing electric VTOL projects.

Volocopter is now seeking partners for its next stage of financing. In an interview with VTOL Investor in July, CEO Florian Reuter said: “The opportunity is huge in our space and we are extremely confident that we will find the right partners for the next stage in financing.

"In that next phase we will complete our commercial certification. Then we will be starting routine operations in at least two cities. We want to accomplish commercialisation, prove the recipe for success and then scale from there."