A flying taxi resembling a helicopter but with more rotors is scheduled to take to the skies at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, very possibly over the Central Business District in Singapore. The air taxi’s maker, German aviation start-up Volocopter, has previously conducted public demonstration flights in Germany, Dubai and Finland.
Those in the area can catch a glimpse of the craft or else hear sounds emanating from its multi-rotor blades while it flies over Marina Bay.
Part of push into Singapore
German company Volocopter is planning to launch its flying taxis in Singapore by 2021.
As part of its push into Singapore, a research and development version of the air taxi, named the Volocopter 2X, will be flown in Singapore for the first time.
It will fly for three minutes at noon as part of the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress, which runs from Oct. 21 to 25 at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The company has been in talks with the Economic Development Board, Transport Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore the past year to assess the feasibility of bringing the air taxis here.
Take-off and landing site
In another first, Volocopter, together with its partner, British firm Skyports, will display its take-off and landing site for the Volocopter.
The take-off and landing site, called VoloPort, will be at the Marina Bay Floating Platform during the congress.
The VoloPort’s structure resembles a helipad. It will have an attached passenger terminal. Visitors able to visit this portion as well.
However, the Volocopter 2X will not be taking off or landing from the VoloPort during its demonstration here.
The site of the test flight demonstration has not been disclosed.
Skyports and Volocopter were considering sites such as Marina Bay, Changi, Sentosa and Seletar for their commercial services.
However, these have yet to be approved by the authorities here.
The Volocopter is an electronically-powered drone with 18 rotors.
It differs from helicopters and run on main and tail rotors as well as a turbine.
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The difference in design means that Volocopters also fly more quietly than helicopters, which are fuel-powered.
The Volocopter 2X can be flown by a pilot with a joystick, or remotely from the ground.
When commercialised, the Volocopter will be able to fly autonomously.
But initial flights are expected to be piloted.
At maximum speed, the Volocopter can travel at 110km/hr and carry 200kg.
If the Volocopter is any heavier, its systems would automatically prevent it from taking off.