Drone Taxi Makes Its First Flight Near Paris: The Volocopter test aircraft, which resembles giant drone with eight rotors, took off from the Pontoise – Cormeilles airfield outside Paris with a passenger on board and briefly circled around while other aircraft were nearby. Dirk Hoke, CEO of the German company Volocopter, started that his company will prepare its aircraft for certification in the next 18 months and that he hopes to commence short commercial flights by 2024, when Paris will host the Summer Olympic Games.
The company hopes that their two seater aircraft will someday fly totally autonomously with only passengers abroad, but concedes that much work remains to be done in terms of infrastructure, airspace, integration and public acceptance.
The Craft’s Computerized Fly-By-Wire System and Several Rotors
The craft’s computerized fly-by-wire system and many rotors, according to test pilot Paul Stone, make it far easier to fly than a standard helicopter. “In a helicopter, when you move one control, three things happen, and it’s like patting your head and rubbing your tummy – it’s a coordination exercise. In this aircraft, they take away all that difficulty, and it’s very simple controls in each axis, that’s what makes it easier to fly,” he stated.
Valérie Pecresse Wants the First Passenger Flight in A Vertical Takeoff and Landing Aircraft to Take Place in Paris
Valérie Pecresse, president of the Ile-de- France region surrounding Paris, stated that the territory has provided financial backing for the effort and she wants the first passenger flight in a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to take place in Paris.
“The development of low-altitude aviation for urban air mobility is an adventure full of promises,” she said in statement.
Volocopter is competing with companies from around the world including Lilium, Joby Aviation (JOBY.N), and Airbus (AIR.PA), to be first flying taxi to be authorized regulators. It hopes to accomplish this in about two years.