Volocopter's heavy-lift electric drone VoloDrone made its first public flight today at the ITS 2021 World Congress . Together with international logistics leader DB Schenker, Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM), demonstrated the seamless integration of VoloDrone into the supply chain with an end-to-end freight transport demonstration. The partners showed the significant progress they have made together since DB Schenker became a strategic investor of Volocopter in early 2020.
The 3-minute test flight took off at 3:02 p.m. from homePORT Hamburg and reached a maximum altitude of 22 meters. For this delivery simulation, the heavy transport electric drone was fitted with a loading box between its landing gears. First, the demonstration teams fixed a load the size of a Europe palleton the box located under the VoloDrone, before taking off gently. The aircraft then brought the payload to a DB Schenker cargo bike and landed safely. After the payload was successfully transferred, the cargo bike delivered its cargo to its final destination under the area parking lot, marking the completion of the last mile fully electric multimodal delivery.
“This first public flight of the VoloDrone is a strong sign for Volocopter's leadership position in the UAM industry. We are the only company in UAM to provide solutions for passengers and cargo flying on a full scale and publicly all over the world. Our VoloDrone will make existing logistics processes more robust, efficient and sustainable. DB Schenker is an invaluable partner in our efforts to harness the enormous potential of our VoloDrone's use cases in the field of logistics. "
- Florian Reuter , CEO of Volocopter
Erik Wirsing , Vice President of Global Innovation at DB Schenker, comments: “With the flight of the VoloDrone today, we were able to publicly demonstrate our successful collaboration and the impressive progress of DB Schenker's roadmap in innovation and sustainability for cleaner logistics. Volocopter has proven once again to be the ideal partner for DB Schenker's ambition to rethink global supply chains and take transport logistics to the next dimension for our customers while reducing emissions. "
The demonstration in Hamburg builds on the foundations of the static proof of concept (PoC) that the partners carried out in July this year in Stuttgart . It has established an implementation plan for VoloDrone operations in logistics facilities around the world.
The VoloDrone is an unmanned, fully electric drone designed to carry pallets of any size among the six sizes of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), weighing up to 200 kilograms, over a distance of 40 kilometers . As part of Volocopter's strong line of UAM aircraft for transporting passengers ( VoloCity and VoloConnect ) and freight in cities, the VoloDrone is positioned to be deployed where conventional transport options reach their limits. In addition to the development of the device, Volocopter organizes the physical ( VoloPorts ) and digital ( VoloIQ) to support these services, which should be launched within the next two to three years. VoloIQ serves as the digital backbone for operations.
The first flight of the VoloDrone took place in 2019. Since then, regular flight tests have been carried out at various aerodromes in Germany. The drone itself measures 9.15 meters in diameter, 2.15 meters in height and has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 600 kilograms. Future VoloDrone operations will be fully electric with autonomous capabilities beyond visual visibility (BVLOS).
Volocopter is building the world's first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility company to deliver affordable air taxi services for goods and people in mega-cities around the world. Volocopter leads and works with partners in infrastructure, operations and air traffic management to create the ecosystem needed to "bring urban air mobility to life." Volocopter has 400 employees in its offices in Bruchsal, Munich and Singapore. The company has raised a total of 322 million euros in equity from investors such as Daimler, Geely, DB Schenker, BlackRock and Intel Capital,