Successful First Public Flight of Volocopter’s VoloDrone

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Successful First Public Flight of Volocopter’s VoloDrone

Volocopter’s electric heavy-lift drone VoloDrone conducted its first public flight at ITS World Congress 2021 in Hamburg, Germany. Together with the international logistics expert DB Schenker, urban air mobility (UAM)-pioneer Volocopter demonstrated VoloDrone’s seamless integration into the logistics supply chain with an end-to-end cargo transport demonstration. DB Schenker became a strategic investor of Volocopter in early 2020.
The 3-minute test flight reached a maximum altitude of 22 meters. For the delivery simulation, the electric was equipped with a load-box in between its landing gear. The demonstration teams secured a Euro-pallet sized load to the box under the Drone, which then smoothly took off. The aircraft flew the payload to a Cargo Bike and landed safely. The Bike then delivered its cargo to the final destination under the area’s park deck.
Florian Reuter — CEO, Volocopter said:

This first public VoloDrone flight is a strong sign for Volocopter´s leading position in the UAM industry. 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. DB Schenker is an invaluable partner in our endeavor to untap the massive potential of our VoloDrone’s logistics use cases.

Erik Wirsing — Vice President Global Innovation, 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. Volocopter has proven again that they are the ideal partner for DB Schenker’s ambition to rethink global supply chains and bring transport logistics to the next dimension for our customers while saving emissions.

The VoloDrone is an uncrewed, fully electric utility drone designed to carry any of the six International Organization for Standardization (ISO) pallet sizes. It can carry up to 200 kilograms, over a 40-kilometer range. The drone is 9.15 meters in diameter, 2.15 meters tall, and has a 600-kilogram maximum take-off weight (MTOW). Future VoloDrone operations will be fully electric with autonomous beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capabilities.
The aircraft is aimed to serve challenging missions across diverse industries. It is positioned to be deployed where conventional transport options reach their limits. In addition to developing the aircraft, Volocopter is organizing the physical and digital infrastructure to support these services, which are set to launch in the next 2-3 years. VoloIQ serves as the digital backbone for operations. This platform will support ecosystem aspects like Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO), Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation (CAMO), Flight Analytics, Vehicle Connectivity, Autonomous Operations, and more.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Volocopter

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