VOLOCOPTER – REAL REVIEW / Flying Taxi / Volocity Drone Taxi
Jet.Paris PodcastSeptember 08, 202200:09:5422.69 MB

VOLOCOPTER – REAL REVIEW / Flying Taxi / Volocity Drone Taxi

Full review of Volocopter at the ILA Berlin 2022 with Akiko Itoga, PR Manager at Volocopter GmbH.

Vitaly: Let me introduce Akiko, she is responsible for PR in this very nice new project Volo-city. Nice to meet you here, in Berlin, in ILA aviation show. So tell us about this new project, you are presenting here.

Akiko: This is an autonomous setting model, that is why you do not see the pilot cockpit, but instead you have the full two seats for the customers and a big iPad in the middle. The customers in flight can, for example see, where they are flying, or, if they want to they could start looking, at you know, the next destination, maybe, booking another Uber maybe booking another e-scooter. But as soon as they get to their landing point then, they can continue on with their journey, without wasting any time.

Vitaly: So, and it is easy to close or how it works, can you show me?

Akiko: So, it would be just like this.

Vitaly: And it really looks like it is a really light. So it's a kind of special carbon system or something like that, yes, and then you go to here.

Very easy and seems to be very safe so.

Akiko: Yes, very safe, it is as safe as a commercial airliner, yeah.

Vitaly: And here you have a luggage compartment.

Akiko: Yes.

Vitaly: Can you open it?

Akiko: It the max payload of the Volo-city is 200 kilograms, including the passengers and the cargo. Now, if you can look here, you have plenty of space.

Vitaly: Oh yeah, it is quite big, yeah.

Akiko: So as I mentioned the swappable batteries.

Vitaly: So, this is like a body of the machine.

Akiko: Watch your head.

Vitaly: Yes, yes, so this is the batteries.

Akiko: Yes

Vitaly: And can you show, how easy to work with them?

Akiko: Yes, obviously, so I am not a technician, so I am not wearing gloves or anything.

Vitaly: Yes.

Akiko: But this is a… it will be swapped. All nine of them will be swapped, when it lands, and then the technician and mechanic...

Vitaly: What is the weight roughly of one button?

Akiko: I cannot...

Vitaly: It is not probably, it is not working better, you know, it's...

Akiko: No, no, no, no, this is model.

Vitaly:  It is a model, yeah okay. So the technician, when this aircraft stops, technician takes all of them, probably, and place the ready-made, so you don't waste.

Akiko: Exactly.

Vitaly: A lot of time, to charge it?

Akiko: So, at the moment we use um a conventional or a proven technology of lithium-ion um. The one of the reasons, that we made it swappable, is because, then it is upgradable, so...

Vitaly: Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure.

Akiko: When the battery becomes a higher power one then, we modify it, and then we use it in...

Vitaly: And, probably, not the question of power, but also the weight. So, if you would reduce the weight of the batteries, you can increase the capacity of the cargo and the passengers.

Akiko: Exactly.

Vitaly: And so, you, are let us say, open for the development of the technology, so it is a long-lasting project.

Akiko: Also, the good part about swappable batteries, is when you take it out, you can charge normally, and not on a fast charger.

Vitaly: Yeah, yeah.

Akiko: Which means, then it is a longer life.

Vitaly: A longer life and, probably, less expenses okay. So, show us, how easy to close it.

Akiko: Yeah

Vitaly: Yeah, I can do it myself.

Akiko: And then just be careful.

Vitaly: Very good.

Akiko: As you can see, this is…

Vitaly: It's a Paris map.

Akiko: Yeah, so, imagine, that we are taking off from Liberty airport and we will be flying into the city...

Vitaly: And while doing this I can charge my batteries.

Akiko: Yeah, you can charge the phone, and then you can call, might, have a car.

Vitaly: Yeah, you may have a car or champagne in Paris.

Akiko: Yeah, and you can also be looking at your you know next mode of transportation.

Vitaly: Yes.

Akiko: I can catch my train.

Vitaly: Yes and so that is how we would be flying so from Le Bourget to La Defense.

Akiko: Yeah, does it work.

Vitaly: From Le Bourget to La Defense in the middle of summer, in the Olympic Games it could take up to two hours.

Akiko: Yes

Vitaly:  And the flight would be for how long?

Akiko: We expect, to lose yeah around 15 minutes.

Vitaly: So it is really impressive it's, really impressive.

As, you said, this is just a model, so in the working aircraft it would be the some equipment here, yes.

 Akiko: Yes, if we have a pilot on board, this will be the pilot. There will be control screens and controls here of course.

Vitaly: But the idea to make it like without pilot at some stage.

Akiko: Yes, so the ultimate target will be autonomous, but it has also this is on a low.

Vitaly: Yeah, okay, I just wanted to have a flight, to flight it five stars.

Akiko: Yeah, so the target is autonomous. But the word that that studies show that, that will only take place, maybe, after 2035 and onwards. It is also a regulatory, yeah, so we need to understand how. If many of these aircraft, you know become autonomous, then how does that integrate into the air system traffic management system, so it is a work in progress. We will have the capability of some autonomy in the beginning in the same aircraft, but, of course, being autonomous, it will learn it will adapt to the regulations. It will adapt to air traffic management, and then in 2030 or 2035, when the cities will allow it, yes, the ultimate.

Vitaly: Can you just give an idea, how much it could cost.

Akiko: You mean riding. You know...

Vitaly: No, no, I mean, for example, if airline Air France, for example, wants to buy 10 or 20 of these. Just an idea, I mean...

Akiko: Oh, we cannot just go...

Vitaly: Okay, and the flight, for example, this flight from Le Bourget to La Defense... What is your target price for the customer?

Akiko: Yeah, so, in the beginning where we have fixed routes...

Vitaly: From Le Bourget to La Defense?

Akiko: Yes

Vitaly: We believe, that until we have a lot of vehicles in the air, maybe, it starts with a VIP-hydrocar price, but as we scale up it will come down to a price of a Black Uber or a normal taxi, depending...

Akiko: On the euros, you mean. Anywhere not that high, I would say, anywhere, that we have an example, maybe, for New York is about 150 dollars let us say, from JFK to New York city.

Vitaly: And it could be less than 10 minutes, I believe, yeah, there it's not a big distance, it's only just a question of traffic jumpsuits, yes?

Akiko:  Yeah

Vitaly: And in Paris…

Akiko: Paris about the same 100 euros, to 120-130. So if you can imagine, two hours down to 15 minutes same price.

Vitaly: No, if you have the same price, as a quality taxi, and you save, what at least, one hour, then it's worthwhile to do this and, of course you would save from the point of view of green approach one and a half hour driving in the car and...

Akiko: Exactly.

Vitaly: t's absolutely different story...

Akiko: Yeah.

Vitaly: Especially considering, that that is only one passenger.

Akiko: Yes

Vitaly: If you are driving car for one person.

Akiko: Yeah, you have an air... full of air.

Vitaly: Yeah, because you would hopefully you would seriously reduce pollution. That is important psychological point. Also, maybe, some people would be happy to pay a bit more, like in private aviation, where you pay like for carbon offset.

Thank you thank you very much for so nice introduction so i already like this project. Already want to join your test flight before Olympics, yes. My son is going to participate in Olympic Games, so and I will be definitely around there.

Thank you very much.

Akiko: Thank you

Vitaly: Thank you


akiko itoga,