VoloCity, from the German manufacturer Volocopter, was chosen to carry out the first experiments in Île-de-France.
Ready for take off?
The prospect of a taxi flying in the sky over the Paris region by 2030 is taking shape: around thirty players have been selected to participate in an urban air mobility sector with initial tests scheduled for this summer.
Volocopter "will be the first industrial player to test its VoloCity vehicle" from June, indicated at a press conference Choose Paris Region, the agency for the promotion and international attractiveness of the Ile-de-France region, the urban transport operator RATP and the manager of the Paris airports Groupe ADP.
Parking, take-off and landing operations will be carried out in a real aeronautical environment in a reserved area of Pontoise airport (Val-d'Oise).
150 candidates from 25 countries answered the call
In all, 150 applicants from 25 countries responded to a call for expressions of interest launched in the fall and focused on vehicle, infrastructure, operations, airspace integration and acceptability by local residents.
“If there is so much interest around the VTOL [vertical take-off and landing vehicle], it's not just because it makes you dream, it's because there are qualities intrinsic to the project that explain this mobilization but also international competition to be able to be one of the areas of the world in which this sector will be structured, ”explained Groupe ADP Executive Director General Edward Arkwright during a press conference.
In addition to the German Volocopter, which presents the most mature solution according to the partners, the following were selected in the “vehicle” category (manufacturers and equipment suppliers): Ascendance Flight Technologies, the French manufacturer of the Atea hybrid VTOL for passengers, Ehang, the manufacturer Chinese electric passenger VTOL, H3 Dynamics, the Singaporean developer of hydrogen VTOL systems, the Slovenian Pipistrel, manufacturer of electric aircraft and logistics VTOLs, Vertical Aerospace (UK) for its passenger transport eVTOL VA-1X , the American Zipline, manufacturer and operator of logistics drones, Airbus and Safran Electronics & Defense.
A complementary mode of transport
The tests carried out from June will be the first step in the development of an air mobility sector with the aim of being able to offer a commercial offer in 2030, and previously demonstrations during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024.
VoloCity, fully electric, is equipped with 18 motors and nine batteries.
It can carry two people including a pilot.
It flies at 110 km / h, at an altitude of 400 to 500 meters and with a range of 35 km.
“The issue of autonomy is key to achieving economic profitability,” commented Marie-Claude Dupuis, strategy, innovation and development director of the RATP group, specifying that in all cases there will always be a management, that this either on board or off the ground.
" There is no photo.
The RER A is 1.4 million travelers per day and in our perspective of offering [VTOL flights] in 2030 we will rather be on a few thousand people per day ", according to her:" The idea is not t is not to oppose the modes but to complete them.
Depending on the partners, it will also be a question of finding the right price to meet the needs of quickly covering distances of 30 km, for example between the airport and the center of Paris or between the region's business centers or again to transport health emergencies, precious parcels, urgent responses to calls for tenders.
"The right price will be the one that meets a demand for which time has a value", summarizes Marie-Claude Dupuis.
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