Honeywell Aerospace has announced that it will be partnering with Volocopter to jointly develop and test navigation and automatic landing systems for Volocopter’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi. Honeywell says it will be bringing its autonomous sensing and flight technologies—including inertial measurement units and attitude heading reference solutions—to the table for the project along with aviation hardware and software products such as navigation technologies and fly-by-wire flight controls “tailored for the unique needs of [urban air mobility (UAM)] aircraft.” According to the company, its solutions will build on technology developed under Europe’s Clean Sky 2 and Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) 2020 programs.
“Honeywell’s wealth of experience and knowledge in the development of next-generation avionics technologies combined with our manufacturing expertise will make autonomous, on-demand air mobility a reality across the world,” said Volocopter chief technology officer Jan Hendrik Boelens. “A key goal of our collaboration is to fly a Honeywell inertial measurement-based attitude reference system solution in one of our Volocopters in 2019.”
Volocopter’s eVTOL completed its first public unmanned test flight in Dubai in September 2017 and the aircraft flew for the first time in the U.S. in January 2018 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The company plans to begin urban flight tests in Singapore in the second half of 2019.