|First flight||17 November 2013|
|Status||In production (2018)|
|Developed from||Volocopter VC2|
The Volocopter 2X is a German two-seat, optionally-piloted, multirotor electric helicopter, designed and produced by Volocopter GmbH of Bruchsal, introduced at the AERO Friedrichshafen airshow in 2017. The aircraft is supplied complete and ready-to-fly. Volocopter was formerly known as E-volo.
The design has its first flight on 17 November 2013.
An initial on-line fundraising effort in 2013 on Seedmatch raised €500,000 in 2 hours and 35 minutes, setting a new European Union record. The money was used to build the prototype, designated as the VC200.
The aircraft was designed to comply with the European Class 6 microlight helicopter rules and be employed in air taxi service in urban areas. It features 18 fixed-pitch propellers, each powered by its own electric motor. Accommodation is two-seats-in side-by-side configuration in an enclosed cockpit with a windshield. It uses skid landing gear.
The aircraft is made from carbon fibre composites. The controls operate through a mesh polymer fibre optic network fly-by-light system. The controls are a triple-redundant primary flight control unit, plus a dissimilar backup flight control unit and a joystick control. The stabilization system employs gyroscopes, acceleration sensors, magnetic field measurement sensors and manometers. Chip-maker, Intel is involved in the integration of drone technology into the design. Autonomous and remotely piloted control systems are under development.
The propellers are powered by three-phase PM synchronous brushless DC electric motors and are mounted on a spoked composite wheel mounted above the cabin. The motors are powered by nine independent, quick-change lithium ion batteries, each one powering two motors. The batteries can be charged in 120 minutes normally or 40 minutes on quick-charge from the municipal power supply. The batteries use active air cooling. The propeller system can be dismantled for storage or ground transport. The propeller system has a diameter of 9.15 m (30.0 ft).
The aircraft has a typical empty weight of 290 kg (639 lb) and a gross weight of 450 kg (992 lb), giving a useful load of 160 kg (353 lb) for pilot, passenger and baggage. The aircraft includes a ballistic parachute.
The 2X has a service ceiling of 2,000 m (6,562 ft) and a hover ceiling of 1,650 m (5,413 ft). It produces an overflight noise level of 65 dB(A) at 75 m (246 ft) distance.
The aircraft's price has not been announced.
The VC200 version was first flown outdoors, unmanned and tethered in November 2015. It was remotely controlled by CEO Alexander Zosel.
The first manned flight was in April 2016, flown by company co-founder, Alexander Zosel. He reported, "the flight was totally awesome. The machine was absolutely reliable, there were no vibrations, it was tremendous. The Volocopter immediately converted every movement I made with the joystick."
Testing of the aircraft and software continued in 2016, establishing flight limits for the software.
The design was employed in Dubai in 2017, conducting unmanned tests of a proposed air taxi service. Officials in Dubai were drafting the air taxi standards and specifications for operations in Dubai.
Data from the manufacturer
- Crew: one
- Capacity: one passenger
- Length: 3.20 m (10 ft 6 in) excluding propeller ring
- Width: 9.15 m (30 ft 0 in) including propellers
- Height: 2.15 m (7 ft 1 in)
- Empty weight: 290 kg (639 lb)
- Gross weight: 450 kg (992 lb)
- Powerplant: 18 × three-phase PM synchronous brushless DC electric motors
- Main rotor diameter: 18× 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
- Main rotor area: 45.8 m2 (493 sq ft) (total)
- Maximum speed: 100 km/h (62 mph; 54 kn)
- Range: 27 km (17 mi; 15 nmi) at 70 km/h
- Endurance: 27 minutes
- Service ceiling: 2,000 m (6,600 ft)
- Rate of climb: 3 m/s (590 ft/min)
- Disk loading: 9.8 kg/m2 (2.0 lb/sq ft)
- Tacke, Willi; Marino Boric; et al: World Directory of Light Aviation 2015-16, page 206. Flying Pages Europe SARL, 2015. ISSN 1368-485X
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