One of the major barriers to the adoption of advanced air mobility technology is public perception. Volocopter continues to demonstrate its eVTOLS around the world, winning over hearts and minds of the next generation.
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian J. McNabb
German advanced air mobility company Volocopter recently announced successful crewed missions in Osaka and Amagasaki. The weeklong suite of testing is to prepare the crew, communications systems, and testing procedures for a showcase of their eVTOL air taxi, the VoloCity, at the 2025 World EXPO hosted in Osaka, Japan. Designed both to prepare the eVTOLs for the event and showcase the technology to locals, an array of local officials and onlookers looked on at the final test flight event hosted by the Sumitomo Corporation, Volocopter’s local strategic partner and investor. In addition, more than 200 local students attended a Q&A with Osaka’s governor and mayor, along with Volocopter’s Managing Director Christian Bauer and Chief Pilot Paul Stone.
The tests were completed at the Osaka heliport, located near the planned EXPO pavilion site on Osaka Bay. In their press release, Volocopter highlighted the importance of local testing before the event in order to begin collaboration with regulators like the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, local air traffic controllers and first responders, along with infrastructure owners, all of whom are key to the success of future testing and demonstration efforts.
Hirofumi Yoshimura, Governor of Osaka Prefecture, said: “I am very happy that I witnessed Volocopter’s test flight up close alongside hundreds of excited students and so close to the site of the 2025 EXPO. The 2X did not disappoint, with a stable and incredibly quiet flight. I have great expectations for eVTOLs, and with the help of Hyogo and other neighboring prefectures, we will push forward to make the EXPO a success to support the future of the industry beyond 2025”.
“Seeing the children’s faces light up when the Volocopter took to the air was the absolute highlight of the day,” said Christian Bauer, Managing Director of Volocopter. “As a novel technology, public awareness of eVTOLs and the creation of the UAM ecosystem are where we need to focus for Japan. Volocopter and partners are preparing early for the 2025 Expo to have the advanced know-how to operate our eVTOLs seamlessly when the time comes”.
Earlier in the week, the crewed Volocopter 2X also performed aircraft behavioral testing with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a national development and research center. Funding was provided by Osaka Prefecture, Osaka City, Hyogo Prefecture, and NEDO, with further support from its sponsors such as Sekisui Chemical Company, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Kintetsu Group Holdings, and Schenker-Seino Company.
Other recent projects from Volocopter include air taxi testing in Downtown Manhattan, a partnership with an emergency medical services provider in Germany, and efforts to provide air taxi services during the 2024 Paris Olympics.
More information on VoloCopter’s suite of eVTOLs is available here.
Ian McNabb is a staff writer based in Boston, MA. His interests include geopolitics, emerging technologies, environmental sustainability, and Boston College sports.