German urban air mobility (UAM) company, Volocopter, has now opened its production facilities in Bruchsal.
The company marked this milestone with the opening of a new hangar that will host the company’s final assembly line with an airfield to conduct development flight tests as well as quality checks.
All company-owned production sites, which will manufacture the first EASA-certified electric air taxis, will ramp up into full operation in April.
Commercial services from 2024
From this facility, electric air taxis made in Germany will be deployed across the world, offering commercial services starting next year.
Volocopter’s production facilities now have the capacity and the regulatory approval to assemble over 50 VoloCity aircraft each year.
And this is the final step of the production setup that Volocopter has been expanding in Bruchsal over the past 18 months.
Since 2021, the company has held an approval as a production organization in compliance with EASA regulation. This certification covers the entire VoloCity production process.
The aspects covered by the certification includes the manufacturing of carbon fiber parts, all aspects of the electric propulsion unit, and final assembly with decking of the propulsion system and fuselage.
Beyond the manufacturing process certification then provides for extensive end-of-line flight tests.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on 4 April 2023 at the hangar. The event also featured a crewed flight of the Volocopter 2X.
Photo Credits: Volocopter
Key guests included Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister of Digital Affairs and Transport; Mr. Winfried Kretschmann, Minister of the State of Baden-Württemberg; Dr. Anna Christmann, Federal Government Coordinator for German Aerospace Policy; and upward of 70 business and political representatives.
Dirk Hoke CEO of Volocopter spoke of the relevance region in terms of its contribution to the advancement of transportation technologies.
“Right here is where the aircraft that will change how humanity moves about cities will take off and make its way across the world,” he said.
“This region is known for transforming mobility – the bicycle, the car, and soon Volocopter, too. Electric air taxis and Volocopter in particular is a technology made in Germany that will make the world a more sustainable place.”
Volocopter develops electrically powered air taxis that are set to transform urban transportation. With its family of aircraft (the VoloCity, VoloRegion, and VoloDrone), the company takes a unique approach by developing UAM as a holistic ecosystem.
It is the first and only electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company to receive Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and has over ten years of development experience.
The German company has committed to launching commercial air taxi services in cities like Singapore, Rome, NEOM, and Paris as early as 2024.
The Urban Air Mobility phenomenon
Urban Air Mobility (UAM) refers to the use of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, also known as flying cars, to provide on-demand transportation services in urban areas.
UAM is seen as a potential solution to the growing problem of urban congestion, as well as a way to reduce carbon emissions and improve the efficiency of transportation.
The concept of UAM involves the use of small, electric aircraft that are capable of taking off and landing vertically from designated helipads or rooftops, without the need for runways or other infrastructure.
These aircraft would be piloted by trained professionals or could eventually become autonomous, and have the potential to transport passengers or cargo within urban areas or between nearby cities.