Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM), successfully conducted a multi-day flight test campaign with a crewed 2X aircraft in the Japanese cities of Osaka and Amagasaki.
This week-long testing campaign was held from December 7 to 13, and signifies the completion of the first steps of local flight testing.
The tests aimed to provide familiarization for the crew, communications tools, and flight test procedures in preparation for the 2025 World Exposition, Osaka Kansai EXPO.
Crewed 2X Aircraft Takes Flight
The focal point of the campaign was Volocopter’s crewed 2X aircraft, undertaking rigorous testing to acclimate the crew, fine-tune communications tools, and streamline flight test procedures.
This meticulous preparation is aimed at ensuring a seamless showcase of Volocopter’s commercial air taxi, the VoloCity, at the 2025 EXPO.
Accelerating eVTOL Recognition in Japan
Beyond the technical aspects, these flights served a dual purpose. Volocopter aimed to simulate operational conditions expected during the EXPO while also boosting public awareness of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in Japan.
The final flight test day event, co-hosted by strategic partner Sumitomo Corporation, drew attention from local dignitaries, media, and over 200 primary and secondary school students.
Testing at Osaka Heliport
To ensure successful flight operations at the 2025 EXPO, Volocopter strategically conducted these tests at the Osaka Heliport, proximate to the planned EXPO pavilion location in Osaka Bay.
This strategic positioning provides valuable insights into how eVTOL operations can be optimized during the exhibition.
Collaborating with local authorities, including the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and air traffic controllers, sets the stage for a seamless transition from testing to the industry’s commercial future.
Local Endorsement: Governor’s Optimism
Hirofumi Yoshimura, Governor of Osaka Prefecture, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “The 2X did not disappoint, with a stable and incredibly quiet flight.”
“I have great expectations for eVTOLs, and with the help of neighboring prefectures, we will push forward to make the EXPO a success, supporting the industry’s future beyond 2025.”
Christian Bauer, Managing Director of Volocopter, highlighted the importance of public awareness and the creation of the UAM ecosystem for Japan.
He emphasized, “Seeing the children’s faces light up when the Volocopter took to the air was the absolute highlight of the day.”
Volocopter and its partners are gearing up early for the 2025 EXPO, ensuring advanced know-how to operate eVTOLs seamlessly when the time comes.
Subsidies and Sponsors
Acknowledging the significance of the endeavor, Volocopter received subsidies from Osaka Prefecture, Osaka City, Hyogo Prefecture, and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
Further support from sponsors, including Sekisui Chemical Company, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Kintetsu Group Holdings, and Schenker-Seino Company, underscores the collaborative efforts driving Volocopter’s vision in Japan.
Volocopter’s Commitment to Japan
Volocopter’s commitment to Japan dates back to 2018, aligning with the country’s early embrace of UAM.
The company has garnered grants for educational initiatives, conducted feasibility studies, and showcased its VoloCity model, solidifying its position as a frontrunner for a Japan-based UAM launch.
Volocopter is building sustainable and scalable urban air mobility businesses to bring affordable air taxi services for goods and people to megacities worldwide.
The company leads and cooperates with partners in infrastructure, operations, and air traffic management to build the ecosystem necessary to ‘Bring Urban Air Mobility to Life’.