Volocopter has introduced a freight-carrying version of its VoloCity electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The new VoloDrone demonstrator was unveiled on October 30 at the company’s headquarters in the southern Germany city of Bruchsal. It made its first flight earlier last month.
Like the two-passenger VoloCity, the unmanned VoloDrone can carry a payload of up to 440 pounds (200 kg). The aircraft has been designed to carry items such as boxes, liquids, and equipment up to 25 miles (40 km). It is intended to be remotely piloted or flown autonomously on preset routes.
The VoloDrone’s rail attachment system has been developed to match standard hardware commonly used for various aerospace and logistics applications. With a diameter of just more than 30 feet (9.2 meters) and a height of 7 feet 6 inches (2.3 meters), the aircraft has been sized to be compatible with Euro-palette packages and has sufficient space in the attachment unit for a sling, a sprayer, or other customized equipment.
Volocopter sees the VoloDrone being used by various sectors, including agriculture, logistics, infrastructure, and public services. Like the VoloCity, the multicopter has 18 rotors and gets power from swappable lithium-ion batteries.