Volocopter 2X completes first manned flight in Italy
Volocopter, Aeroporti di Roma (ADR), Atlantia, UrbanV have completed the first crewed eVTOL test flights in Italian airspace.
The flight tests were part of a mobility ecosystem setup at Fiumicino’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport. The companies confirmed the flights represent a “key milestone” toward the rollout of AAM services in Rome by 2024. The test were conducted in a Volocopter 2X, it flew 40 km/h for 5mins at 40m above ground along a figure of eight flight path.
ADR, Volocopter, UrbanV, and Atlantia also took the opportunity to present Italy’s first AAM testing vertiport and an interactive booking process on Volocopter’s VoloIQ digital platform.
Marco Troncone, CEO, Aeroporti di Roma said: “The opening of the first vertiport in Italy and the first crewed eVTOL flight represent a remarkable step towards the activation of the first AAM routes between Fiumicino airport and Rome city centre by the end of 2024, ahead of the Jubilee, to offer our contribution to our city and our institutions in welcoming the international tourist flows with a ground-breaking, innovative service.”
The vertiport has been developed in compliance with EASA’s “Prototype Technical Specifications for the Design of VFR Vertiports for Operation with Manned VTOL-Capable Aircraft Certified in the Enhanced Category”. It is designed to host various types of tests for both flight and ground operations (turnaround, battery charging, etc.), with an electric system devised to allow testing of various eVTOL charging technologies (battery swaps, fast charging, etc.).
The infrastructure, occupying an area of about 5,500sqm, consists of: a final approach and takeoff area (FATO) for landing and takeoff operations; a parking area; a covered hangar; various rooms, including an office, a warehouse, and an area for battery charging.
The vertiport demonstration was hosted by UrbanV, a company established by ADR – together with Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur, Aeroporto di Venezia (SAVE), and Aeroporto Guglielmo Marconi di Bologna. UrbanV has been launched to build vertiports internationally.
Carlo Tursi, CEO, UrbanV said: “This test vertiport is particularly significant for UrbanV, representing our first step towards establishing a network of vertiports in the Rome region. In close synergy with all of our partners in this new mobility ecosystem, we are making progress towards positioning Rome as one of the first European cities to offer seamless connections with electric aircraft, leveraging the expertise we have developed in designing and building ground infrastructure for advanced air mobility.”
Christian Bauer, Volocopter’s chief commercial officer and interim chief financial officer, added “We’ve come from a signed partnership agreement and event series kickoff to a flight test at an operational airport in a little less than a year. With that, we are bringing together all the key stakeholders and regulators to witness this mobility service and technology with their own eyes.”