Volocopter announced it has successfully conducted a multi-day flight test campaign (from 7 to 13 December) with a crewed 2X aircraft in the Japanese cities of Osaka and Amagasaki. This week-long testing campaign signifies the completion of the first steps of local flight testing to acclimate the crew, communications tools, and flight test procedures in preparation for the 2025 World Exposition, Osaka Kansai EXPO. The 500-day countdown to the 2025 EXPO has begun, and Volocopter remains committed to flying at this international exhibition with its commercial air taxi, the VoloCity.
The purpose of these flights was two-fold: to test aircraft operations under conditions similar to those expected during the EXPO and to accelerate the public awareness of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in Japan.
Successful flight operations at the 2025 EXPO require preparation time and assessment on the ground. These flight tests were conducted at the Osaka Heliport in proximity to the planned 2025 EXPO pavilion location in Osaka Bay. This locational advantage gives insight and data into how Volocopter could shape eVTOL operations when the exhibition starts. Working with local authorities such as the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), local air traffic controllers, emergency response teams, and infrastructure owners now will aid in a faster transition from testing to the industry’s commercial future, as well as for the VoloCity when it takes to the skies of Osaka in 2025.
Earlier in the week, the crewed Volocopter 2X also performed an aircraft behavioural flight with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), Japan’s national research and development center. For this multi-day flight test campaign, Volocopter was awarded subsidies from Osaka Prefecture, Osaka City, Hyogo Prefecture, and NEDO, with further support from its sponsors such as Sekisui Chemical Company, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Kintetsu Group Holdings, and Schenker-Seino Company.