Volocopter to open its first air taxi landing facility ahead of trials in Singapore
Volocopter to show air taxi landing platform in Singapore
Volocopter and British Skyports plan to complete the first port for electric air taxis before the end of this year. The presentation is planned during the public test flights Volocopter has announced for the second half of the year in Singapore.
german start-up volocopter has released plans to build the first mobile port for air taxis in singapore, which it says will be used for public flight trials later this year. the company released renders of its volo-port, designed by berlin-based studio graft architects, and announced that it would be completed in the second half of 2019.
volocopter began developing its fully electronic vertical take-off vehicle in 2011, with the intention of providing an alternative method of transportation in urban areas. in the same year, it completed its first successful manned test flight, and by 2017 it showcased the first-ever autonomous flight of an urban air taxi dubai.
the two-seater aircraft has no combustion engine, no fuel, and no emissions. instead, it uses 18 quiet electric rotors, controlled via a simple operation that uses a single joystick. now, volocopter is working with UK-based global vertiport owner and operator skyports to realise the physical landing pads for eVTOL (electric take-off and landing), appointing graft architects to come up with what the volo-port should like.
graft won the tender to produce the volo-port design alongside internationally renowned agency brandlab, which was originally created by architects from the firm. together, they have come up with a modular design that makes it easy to integrate volo-ports into existing urban infrastructure.
‘mobility patterns in cities worldwide are changing rapidly – seamless transitions from one mode to another are crucial for transport efficiencies and changing passenger demands‘, says linda stannieder, co-founder and CEO of brandlab.
‘our design of the architecture, as well as all services along the whole customer journey, link ground to air infrastructure in the smoothest way possible,’ she adds.
designed to provide passengers with a seamless air taxi experience, the volo-port combines a lounge, security, and departure areas, in a relatively small single-story structure. sheltered from the weather, from there passengers can alight the air taxi or be transported to a nearby helipad for takeoff.
‘we have analysed the available spaces and movement dynamics in city centres across the world and recognize that infrastructure is a key enabler for the emerging UAM (urban air movbility) market,‘ explains duncan walker, managing director of skyports.
‘each individual volo-port is designed so that it can stand alone or connect to other ports in numerous formations, enabling rapid deployment and scalability.‘
graft envisions volo-ports attached to railway stations, airports, and unused roof surfaces. it even imagines floating volo-ports that make use of free air corridors over rivers and other water surfaces.
a full-scale volocopter vehicle is currently on display at the greentech festival, an event held in berlin each may to showcase green technologies and initiatives. the company plans to use the prototype to showcase planned customer services, as well as provide authorities and industry regulators the chance to interact with the infrastructure, providing useful feedback before the final design is approved.
earlier this month, munich-based start-up lilium announced plans to operate all-electric taxis in several cities by 2025. the company unveiled a five-seater jet-powered aircraft following the completion of its maiden flight just weeks before. lilium expects that journeys will be comparable in price to a regular road-based taxi, but four times faster.