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Volocopter’s VoloDrone makes first public flight

Volocopter’s eVTOL VoloDrone performed a successful first public flight demonstration on Oct. 12 at the ITS World Congress event in Hamburg, Germany. 

Volocopter teamed up with its strategic investor DB Schenker for the demonstration, which simulated a completely electric, multimodal last-mile delivery. The demonstration team first secured a Euro-pallet sized load in a box between VoloDrone’s landing gear. The aircraft then lifted off for a short three-minute flight around homePORT Hamburg, during which it reached a maximum altitude of 22 meters (72 feet), Volocopter said. 

After landing, the payload was transferred to a DB Schenker Cargo Bike for delivery to its final destination. 

VoloDrone is based on Volocopter’s 18-rotor multicopter design, which the company is also developing into a two-seat air taxi called VoloCity. According to Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter, “This first public VoloDrone flight is a strong sign for Volocopter’s leading position in the UAM [urban air mobility] industry. We are the only UAM company offering solutions for passengers and goods that are flying fully scaled and publicly around the world.” 

VoloDrone public flight
Volocopter and its strategic investor DB Schenker aim to integrate VoloDrone into logistics facilities globally. Volocopter Photo

In a press release, Erik Wirsing, vice president of global innovation at DB Schenker, added: “With the VoloDrone flight today, we were able to publicly demonstrate our successful collaboration and the impressive progress on DB Schenker’s innovation and sustainability roadmap for cleaner logistics.” 

VoloDrone, which made its first flight in 2019, is designed to carry any of the six International Organization for Standardization (ISO) pallet sizes, weighing up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds), over a 40-kilometer (25-mile) range. The drone itself is 9.15 meters (30 feet) in diameter, 2.15 meters (seven feet) tall, and has a 600-kg (1,320-lb.) maximum take-off weight. 

Volocopter said it has been conducting regular flight tests of VoloDrone at various airfields in Germany, and is incorporating autonomous beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capabilities into the aircraft. 

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2 Comments

  1. This is absolutely amazing! The future will bring us many changes with this types of evtol, especially in the cargo sector over urban areas.

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