Diehl Aerospace signs deal with Volocopter

Avionics for electric air taxi to be developed as urban air mobility moves ahead

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Volocopter has been developing air taxi services and hardware and recently showed off its hardware with test flights in Singapore in 2019. (PHOTO: Volocopter)

Diehl Aerospace, a unit of aerospace supplier Diehl Aviation, has signed a contract with Volocopter for the development and production of Flight Control Computers (FCC). Volocopter is the manufacturer of an electric air taxi in certification to safely and quietly transport passengers within cities. Under this agreement, Diehl Aerospace will supply the FCCs including the primary and backup control computers for Volocopter’s “eVTOL” (electrical vertical take-off and landing) aircraft named VoloCity, currently under development. Financial details were not disclosed.

Volocopter and partner Skyports built the first VoloPort prototype on the floating dock in Marina Bay. VoloPorts are the only physical infrastructure required for air taxis. They are designed to provide passengers with a seamless air taxi experience that is safe, secure, and integrated into existing infrastructure.

The contract with Volocopter marks the entry of Diehl Aviation into the market segment of urban air mobility (UAM), which Diehl has identified as a “perfect addition to its portfolio”.

Diehl Aerospace already provides flight control systems to major airlines and aircraft. The emerging UAM market is expected to play a major role in urban mobility solutions in the future, particularly in combination with electric propulsion and mobile IT services.

Initial development work has started already at Diehl sites for the Volocopter work package. Certification of the Diehl FCCS for Volocopter is expected for 2021, while first flight and entry-into-service of the VoloCity is expected within the next two to four years.

In addition to the application of Diehl’s flight control expertise to the eVTOL platform, the company is also looking at new market potentials for other products within its portfolio, such as cabin interiors and integration capabilities.

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