The German startup Volocopter, or flying taxi, attracted significant business investments a year ago. At the final stage of financing, according to the financial director of the company, it is necessary to attract another 240 million dollars to further accelerate the development of the project.
The idea of a flying taxi is far from new and there are at least 5-7 large companies with the same concept. All of these companies have faced a number of obstacles that have so far prevented them from bringing the product to market and commercializing the concept: accidents, lawsuits, bankruptcies.
What is special about this project?
The peculiarity of the startup is the development of an entire eco-system for flying taxis and its successful implementation into the current system of taxi companies, the creation of take-off sites. And also the main distinguishing feature is the design of the aircraft itself. Volocopter has developed a new main rotor for the helicopter - it is a wide and round design, allowing a full-fledged passenger rescue system with a parachute. While in conventional helicopters, the rotor of the helicopter does not allow the use of such a system, due to the blockage of their way up. It is also worth noting that such a flying taxi will be equipped with electric batteries and an electric motor, which also solves some of the environmental problems with gas pollution in megacities. So far, the aircraft itself has been developed in two versions: for 1 person or for a small group of people.
Today, helicopters from Volocopter are already flying over parts of Europe and Asia, namely, test flights were made over Helsinki, Dubai and the Singapore Strait. Paris wants a flying taxi by 2024 and the Olympics.
In the current conditions of the pandemic, the company believes that a flying aircraft designed for 1 person fully justifies itself, and also gives a 3-year report before the finalization and full launch of the project.