The futuristic air taxi segment is soaring to new heights thanks to the latest progression of the Volocopter.
The German startup claims that the video above shows shows the first time an all-Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicle has completed a manned flight on U.S. soil.
With test pilot Damian Hischier at the controls, the Volocopter 2X flew for four minutes, reaching an altitude of 160 feet and a top speed of 18 mph during the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture 2021 event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The tiny, 18-rotor two-seater maxes out at 62 mph and 18 miles of range on a single charge, according to Robb Report.
This milestone marks the latest in over 1,000 manned and unmanned public flights that Volocopter has showcased over the past five years in Paris, Singapore, Helsinki, Dubai, and Stuttgart. The variance in location is deliberate, as the company is focused specifically on creating automated aircraft capable of transporting people and goods in and around different cities.
“We can talk about our lead in certification, low noise emissions and global partnerships all we want, but nothing shows just how close we are to launch UAM as a service as does flying an air taxi in front of crowds and inviting people to sit in our aircraft,” Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter said in a statement.
“Air taxis are coming, and we are working to bring electric flights to cities around the globe in the next two to three years.”
Volocopter is also the first and only eVTOL developer to hold two key approvals from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) that allow for in-house design and production of aircraft. Pending commercial launch in Europe, it's expected that approvals will be granted from the United States' Federal Aviation Administration.
Uber "Air" could be just around the corner.