Urban air mobility (UAM) company Volocopter completed the first public test flight of its VoloDrone all-electric, heavy-lift utility drone in Hamburg, Germany, last week. The flight lasted three minutes, reaching a maximum altitude of 22 meters (72 feet) with the aircraft carrying a Euro-pallet-sized load. The test was conducted in partnership with international logistics company and Volocopter investor DB Schenker.
“This first public VoloDrone flight is a strong sign for Volocopter’s leading position in the UAM industry,” said Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter. “We are the only UAM company offering solutions for passengers and goods that are flying fully scaled and publicly around the world. Our VoloDrone will make existing logistics processes more robust, efficient, and sustainable.”
Volocopter, which is also developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxis, first flew the VoloDrone in 2019. Designed to carry a payload of up to 200 kilograms (441 pounds) for up to 40 kilometers (25 miles), the drone measure 9.15 meters (30 feet) in diameter, 2.15 meters (7 feet) tall and has a 600-kilogram (1,323-pound) maximum takeoff weight (MTOW). The aircraft will be capable of autonomous, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations.
Deliver a pallet size load anywhere in the city? I assume we can now get rid of security TFRs since this now illustrates them as being irrelevant?
They have always been irrelevant.
There are a lot of variables, but if one of these suffers a catastrophic failure or collision and drops out of the sky, you’re talking about 1300 lbs hitting the ground at 70+ mph. Over a congested area that’s not a good risk. What are the safety features that reduce the risk when catastrophic failure happens?
Probably less dangerous than granny hitting the gas instead of the brake in her 3,500 lb. Camry. She could plow down a bunch of pedestrians.
I don’t think the risk is very large. And I want my stuff, now.
That 3-wheeled bike didn’t look like it had a 400# payload! Are helicopters making 3 minute flights right now? If not, where is the market? How could this possibly be cheaper?