Aircraft

Volocopter soars under the blue skies of Tampa

Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM), have successfully kicked-off a multilayered flight test campaign with a crewed Volocopter 2X.

This marks the first-ever flight test of an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in an operational and large international airport in the U.S., and the first eVTOL test in the state of Florida.

The flight test campaign consisted of aircraft downwash and outwash testing with the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and aircraft performance testing in local environmental conditions.

Invited guests to the event included Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Purdue, Mayor of Tampa Jane Castor, and leaders from Congress who are supporting UAM industry growth, regulatory advancement, and acceleration of public acceptance of eVTOLs in the U.S.

The UAM segment is being targeted by electric propulsion aircraft due to its ease of operations and noise considerations for urban use cases. Volocopter’s quiet, safe, and sustainable operations of a certified eVTOL will not only provide efficient transportation, reduce congestion, but also kickstart the decarbonization of the aviation industry.

Stateside, Volocopter announced in September its partnership with the Bristow Group to begin operations of eVTOLs in the near future, with Florida being one of the targeted areas of operation. Since 2018, Volocopter has flown in Las Vegas, Oshkosh, Dallas-Fort Worth area, and Tampa.

Continued and visible flight test campaigns in view of the public are crucial steps to building an efficient UAM ecosystem that receives the communities’ support.

Tampa International Airport has always embraced innovation and futuristic planning, and we’ve already identified a potential site for urban air mobility as a part of our Master Plan,” Joe Lopano, TPA CEO said.

“This technology has the potential to transform the aviation and transportation industry, and we’re excited to partner with Volocopter as we introduce and visualize the amazing possibilities that lie ahead.”

Dirk Hoke, CEO of Volocopter, added: “Flying at a large, active airport always presents a multitude of challenges, but we proved that our aircraft is safe, quiet, and efficiently useful in a city like Tampa.

“Volocopter sees this as the starting point of the entry into service in the U.S., and we will come back to show our continued progress.

“We thank all attending guests for the support given to make this first-ever eVTOL flight in Florida a success.”

Volocopter expects to receive a final certification of its commercial eVTOL aircraft, the VoloCity, from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2024.

The company is also in the concurrent validation process with the FAA, submitted in 2020, and has been working with both authorities to bring urban air mobility to life.

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