Will air taxi become reality in Germany?
Volocopter collects EUR 122 millions for the “VoloCity” drone project -VIDEO
The German company DB Schenker, acquired in 2002 by the German railway company DB Bahn, has joined 11 other investors, including Daimler and the Chinese car company Geely, to finance the start-up Volocopter project. Thanks to the commitment by DB Schenker, Volocopter raised a total of EUR 122 millions. In this new phase, the goal will be to patent the “VoloCity” drone and employ additional sector experts in the project.
This drone model is an electrically powered airplane that takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter but without having tilt-rotor features, and will be used in a flying taxi service to increase Urban Air Mobility. The Bruchsal startup has recently shown the performance of this technology by performing a public flight to Singapore (see video below).
This is obviously not the only company that is trying to bring new passenger transport technologies to the market. Only last year Airbus, the last of many for decades, presented its "CityAirbus" air taxi to Inglostadt, which reaches a range of 50 km at a speed of 120 km/hour. The industry is refining the product to obtain authorization by 2025. In a recent study (2019), the international consultancy firm McKinsey hypothesizes that the market potential for air taxis is around one billion euros. However, the range of expectations varies widely. According to experts, the success of flying taxis will depend heavily on costs. Currently the cost per machine is relatively high and ranges between 750,000 and 1.2 million Euros. At this figure, the drone will remain a niche product. The costs of this type of drones should in fact be 90% lower than those of the conventional helicopter, and this shows that considerable efforts are still needed to arrive at a regular air service. On the source "Deutsche Mittelstands Nachrichten", Ice spoke from Berlin yesterday.
In this regard, see also AVIONEWS.
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency