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Electric air taxis – will they take off?

German urban air mobility (UAM) pioneer, Volocopter, has completed the first test flight with its 2X aircraft in Seoul, South Korea. It was the first ever crewed public test flight of a fully electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi in South Korea. The Republic’s Minister for Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) Noh Hyeong Ouk witnessed the historical test flight, marking a milestone in Volocopter’s plan of introducing air taxis globally. The 5-minute test flight took place at Gimpo International Airport, covered approximately 3 kilometers, reached a maximum altitude of 50 meters and maximum speeds of 45 km/h. Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter said, “With MOLIT’s comprehensive K-UAM roadmap, South Korea is well positioned to achieve the goal of commercializing UAM by 2025. We are extremely honored to conduct the nation’s first crewed public eVTOL test flight today and prove yet again that the future of air taxis is here and now with Volocopter’s aircraft. As the pioneers of the UAM industry, we look forward to working closely with friends and partners from both the government agencies and private sectors to make UAM a reality in South Korea.” German Ambassador to South Korea Michael Reiffenstuel said, “South Korea and Germany have enjoyed a close relationship for more than a century. We are connected by a common experience of a divided nation and strong ties in trade, education, and technology. We strongly welcome deepened cooperation in new sectors such as digitalization, e-commerce, and urban air mobility.” Seoul is the second city in Asia that Volocopter has conducted a test flight following the first successful public flight trial over Singapore’s Marina Bay area in 2019. The company is leading the pack in the UAM sector with a family of aircraft that can transport passengers (the VoloCity and VoloConnect) and goods (the VoloDrone). It is the only eVTOL company that has obtained design and production organization approvals from European Union Aviation Safety Agency. Volocopter is scheduled to conduct a public test flight at Incheon airport early next week (weather permitting) during the K-UAM Confex 2021. About Volocopter Volocopter is building the world’s first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility business to bring affordable air taxi services for goods and people to megacities worldwide. Volocopter leads and cooperates with partners in infrastructure, operations, and air traffic management to build the ecosystem necessary to “Bring Urban Air Mobility to Life”.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Telegraph.

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  1. This one has potential. I can see a real market for getting quickly in and out of cities. A quick flight over around 30km will be preferable to a long journey on a suburban train line or battling with traffic on the roads.

    1. Yes, and if they can make it viable with electric, they’ll surely be on to a winner. A brave investor could do well from this, but is it just a little ahead of its time, I wonder…?

  2. From now on there will be intense scrutiny of any new transport technology, all depends on how eco friendly these taxis can become by 2025.

    1. That’s the key, I think, Mo (but surely it’s going to be more eco friendly than other current airborne alternatives)… and of course whether it offers a sufficiently attractive alternative financially.

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