Volocopter has opened up reservations for the first commercial electric air taxi rides in an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
A what? If you haven’t been following along as this industry has been heating up, an eVTOL aircraft is sort of a new-age helicopter, but it’s more than that. The core point is in the name, but the name is so long that it confuses most of us — a VTOL is an aircraft that can take off or land vertically (instead of historically). Yes, we’re still in helicopter territory, but it goes broader. “This classification can include a variety of types of aircraft including fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and other aircraft with powered rotors, such as cyclogyros/cyclocopters and tiltrotors,” Wikipedia informs. “Some VTOL aircraft can operate in other modes as well, such as CTOL (conventional take-off and landing), STOL (short take-off and landing), or STOVL (short take-off and vertical landing).” Also, the “e” is significant — it stands for electric, which is a big leap into the future in the aviation world.
The news is that Volocopter, based out of Germany, has opened up reservations for the first electric air taxi flights. The “VoloFirst,” as the company is calling one of these planned rides, will cost about $300 and can be reserved for 10% of that, $30. Though, if this piques your interest, put down a reservation quickly — there are only 1,000 “presale tickets” available for these initial flights, and there are 779 left as I type this.
The tickets are indeed available worldwide. The rides will be 15 minutes in length in Volocopter’s VoloCity electric aircraft. Video footage will also be captured of your flight.
“The announcement follows Volocopter’s successful demonstration flights in Stuttgart, at Helsinki’s international airport, and over Singapore’s Marina Bay,” the company notes. The announcement came earlier today (or yesterday if you are east of the United States).
“Based on our public test flights and regulatory achievement record, we have paved the way to make electric flight in cities common in just a few years. With the start of reservations, we now invite our supporters and innovators around the world to join us and be amongst the first to experience this new and exciting form of mobility,” Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter added.
Sounds cool. Perhaps I will put a reservation down.