The German startup Volocopter says it is the first company to fly an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (or eVTOL) at an international airport while it is integrated into the air traffic management system. The company has released a video of its 18-rotor aircraft (or octadecacopter) fly around Helsinki airport on Friday, showing test pilot Damian Hischier zooming a few dozen feet in the air over the runways.
It is by no means Volocopter's first test flight. But if the company (or its many competitors) have some hope to prove a use case for short-hop eVTOL flights, the co-existence of airports is crucial.
Volocopter has been kicking since the first days The Verge & # 39; s existed in 2011, and during that time it has developed its electric air taxi technology to an impressive level because the aircraft no longer looks like a sort of Mad Max flying machine. This progress has also received some serious support, with Intel Volocopter providing technology and assistance as well as Daimler invests around $ 30 million.
Most companies in this area are still in the testing phase – if they are so far away – so it will take a while for a company to attempt to commute passengers or cargo along real routes. There are many other questions to be answered about the value of this specific type of transport. But while those answers are being resolved, Volocopter and others will continue to try to make air taxis happen.