Pilot training specialist CAE and urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft manufacturer Volocopter have signed a strategic partnership to develop, certify, and deploy an innovative pilot training programme for electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) operations.

The partnership, which is subject to definitive agreement, is a first within the industry. The eVTOL pilot training programme will develop the pilot workforce of the future and ensure safe introduction of eVTOL operations globally by leveraging CAE’s advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), as well as data analytics and Volocopter’s leading understanding of requirements for integration into the UAM ecosystem.

CAE has committed to expanding its international training network to support Volocopter’s growth and global pilot training with a forecasted investment of up to US$40 million in preparation for Volocopter’s first eVTOL aircraft entering service.

VoloCity set to launch in time for Paris Olympics

Volocopter’s family of electric aircraft are designed to relieve inner-city traffic for both people (VoloCity, VoloConnect) and goods (VoloDrone), transport of which relies heavily on fossil fuels. The company’s first commercial eVTOL aircraft, the VoloCity, is undergoing its certification programme with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and is positioned to launch first services in time for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Through existing agreements and partnerships with global leaders, such as Daimler, Aéroports de Paris, Microsoft Azure and CAE, Volocopter plans to launch its services in a number of cities globally within the next five years. Volocopter is committed to seeking certification with the highest global safety standards for aircraft and operations.

CAE to deploy equipment and instructors in line with growth

CAE will be deploying training equipment and instructors in line with Volocopter’s growth. As part of the agreement, Volocopter will purchase a simulator from CAE to be used in its pilot training programme certification. CAE will create new, student-centric courseware, specifically designed for the pilots of the future as Volocopter’s courseware provider and will also offer pilot trainees customised resources that enable faster, more efficient pilot training.

“As we scale our UAM services in cities around the world, specific pilot training and qualification for our Volocopters will be an important element. We are proud to be partnering with CAE, who have a track record in developing best-in-class, innovative pilot training solutions for new aircraft programs. It will greatly benefit Volocopter’s entry-into-service timeline and scale,” said Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter. “We are excited about CAE’s endorsement and look forward to collaborate as partners focused on combining future-oriented technologies to ensure aviation safety.”

Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions added: “As a high-technology company and the industry leader in pilot training, we continuously look at providing solutions that make the world a safer place. We are committed to supporting Volocopter’s inspiring vision and we look forward to leading in the design of UAM pilot training that prioritises safety of operations through our data-driven solutions, world-class pilot training experience, and longstanding relationships with civil aviation authorities across the globe.”

CAE has published a white-paper on Advanced Air Mobility white-paper which states that advanced air mobility will create an additional surge in the demand for pilots, with an estimated 60,000 pilots needed within the first decade of operation. Volocopter and CAE will work closely together to obtain regulatory approval for their pilot training programme of the future.

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