Paris Air Show 2023 was a hotbed for eVTOL technological advancements, with flight demonstrations from some of the biggest names taking place throughout the event. Volocopter’s Volocity aircraft took to the skies to wow the crowds, highlighting its capabilities ahead of next year’s Olympic Games.
Dirk Hoke, CEO of Volocopter, told FINN: “We will start the flight testing with the model we will fly in Paris in July at our headquarters and we are happy to hopefully be back here next year for the Olympic Games to start commercial operations with our partner [Groupe] ADP.”
Although the Volocity will begin operations next year, it has a been a long and challenging process to get to this point, with intensive testing being conducted since 2011. “From 2013 to now, it has gone through several prototypes in order to go to the conforming aircraft, so it is not a walk in the park,” Hoke explained.
When it comes to making eVTOL a viable market for the general public, Hoke believes that ticket prices will need to be subsidised for the first two years of commercial operations, but from 2026 we will see the vehicle operated at a competitive level that will “enable the normal person on the street to buy a ticket and have it as an alternative to taxis and other modalities.”
One of the main challenges for the eVTOL industry is public acceptance of the new type of vehicle, which people often believe will be very loud like a helicopter. However, the eVTOL is a fraction of the noise of a helicopter and much safer too, as well as being more sustainable as it is fully electric.
Volocopter is also looking at the circularity of the new vehicle and how the batteries are recycled or reused and how they are charged too to further boost the sustainability credentials.