Air-Taxi Startup Volocopter Unveils Four-Seater Suburban Shuttle
(Bloomberg) -- Volocopter GmbH unveiled a larger, longer-range electric aircraft to expand planned travel offerings outside city limits.
The new VoloConnect offers seating for up to four people and a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles). The aircraft, which takes off and lands vertically, is designed to connect suburbs to city centers, the German air-taxi startup said Monday in a statement.
The new model has a cruising speed of 180 kilometers per hour (112 mph) and represents the company’s third model, including a cargo drone. The company aims to certify its new design within the next five years.
Volocopter seeks to start commercial operations in Singapore by 2023 and has already sold 1,000 reservations for 15-minute tourist flights. The VoloConnect complements the shorter-range VoloCity, a two-seater based on a design that performed its first manned test in 2011 and has since completed more than 1,000 flights.
Volocopter has raised 322 million euros ($391 million) from backers including Daimler AG and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., as well as logistics firm DB Schenker and the venture capital arm of chipmaker Intel Corp. The company is also seeking regulatory approval to operate its vertical takeoff craft in the U.S.
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