A prototype for Volocopter’s VoloCity has made what the German company says was the first autonomous flight by an eVTOL aircraft that was fully integrated into the air traffic management (ATM) system at an international airport. The flight at Finland’s Helsinki International Airport took place on August 29 to demonstrate the ability of Volocopter’s 2X prototype to be safely integrated with both the ATM and the unmanned aircraft traffic management (UTM) system while operating in very-low-level (VLL) airspace.
The aircraft has been participating in the Gulf of Finland U-space project organized under the Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) program to assess how autonomous air-taxi flights can be safely operated in urban environments, including airports. Volocopter is now preparing for another public demonstration of the VoloCity prototype at Stuttgart Airport in Germany on September 14.
In Helsinki, Volocopter performed a series of tests with three different UTM service providers—AirMap, AltitudeAngel, and Unifly. The company integrated the necessary software and position report sensor for the trials, which involved ground tests and both unmanned and piloted flights.
In October, the Sesar team is due to present the results of the Gulf of Finland trials, which also involved flights around the Estonian capital Tallinn.