Bristow, Volocopter Partner On eVTOL Services


Vertical flight solutions company Bristow Group has entered into a partnership with Germany-based urban air mobility (UAM) startup Volocopter to develop commercial passenger and cargo services using electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in the U.S. and U.K. According to the companies, the partnership will include cooperating on building a UAM ecosystem with the development agreement covering “the exploration of commercial, operational, and eVTOL aircraft maintenance services.” As part of the arrangement, Bristow has placed a firm order for two Volocopter VoloCity eVTOLs with an option to purchase 78 additional aircraft.

“Launching this collaborative effort with Volocopter marks a major milestone in Bristow’s effort to usher in a new era of vertical transportation solutions,” said Dave Stepanek, Bristow executive vice president and chief transformation officer. “Volocopter has taken a pragmatic approach to certification with a simple and elegant initial aircraft design and is leading the pack in its efforts to bring their aircraft to market.”

Volocopter reports that it has conducted more than 1,500 test flights with the VeloCity to date. The company says it expects to receive EASA certification for its eVTOL design in 2024 with FAA certification to follow shortly. As previously reported by AVweb, Bristow has formed similar partnerships with other eVTOL developers including BETA Technologies, Lilium and Overair.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. I’m looking at this “thing” and find that unlike a real airplane and it’s simplicity with the two rotating propeller blades (two, three or four blades), this machine has ?? sixteen/seventeen blades (couldn’t tell by the picture).!


    So is it that the future requires or demands complexity to work? Is this thing IFR capable?

    What is it that qualifies it for “the future, and the future for aviators, or is it just for short stops and inter-city use?”

    • It’s a very limited, but very inexpensive helicopter with lots of redundancy and easy fly by wire controls.

      Like all of its kind, it really won’t be all that revolutionary until battery tech takes a few more leaps.

      • We will have to see about how “redundant” the batteries, BMS charge controllers, motor controllers, wiring runs, connectors, and software versions are. Of course, we will also have to wait to see if a single bird would cause a simulated nuclear “chain reaction” in those rotor arrays.

          • Flying where? When you START flying them in neighborhoods and high density cities, you will encounter more birds and debris than pristine test areas. That is why redundancy is theoretical and not proven.