VoloCity – self-driving electric helicopter, 2011

Oct 1, 2019 – Volocopter said Singapore is emerging as one of the most likely destinations for the commercial launch of its electric helicopters, where it hopes to offer short-hop flights for the price of a limousine ride.

The VoloCity drone-like air taxi will become the first commercially licensed electric helicopter of German startup Volocopter, developed according to the standards and requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). 

The flying vehicle features multiple redundancy systems, ensuring a virtually failsafe aircraft. The redundant systems include rotors, electro motors, batteries, avionics, and displays. All the communication networks are connected using a fiber optic cable.

Assistance systems and more than 100 microprocessors ensure perfect stability and control during the flight. Altitude control, balance, and landing can be intuitively managed by a control stick.

Nine rechargeable batteries power 18 engines that acoustically operate within a narrow frequency band so the vehicle is very quiet. The batteries are changeable and can be changed within minutes. 

Volocopters have been flying since 2011 to perform over 1,000 test flights. The model has received permits to fly in a human pilot-driven or autonomous configurations for test flights in Germany, Dubai, Helsinki, and Singapore.

In September 2019, co-founder Alexander Zosel said that the first commercial flights will be piloted, leaving room for only one passenger, but in five to 10 years transition to fully-autonomous flying is expected and that Singapore is one of the most likely destinations for the commercial launch of the electric helicopters.

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