Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Volocopter have kicked off a multilayered flight test campaign with a crewed Volocopter 2X.
This is believed to be the first-ever flight test of an eVTOL aircraft in an operational and large international airport in the U.S., and the first eVTOL test in the state of Florida.
The flight test campaign consisted of aircraft downwash and outwash testing with the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and performance testing in local environmental conditions. Media, partners, and guests were invited to the event with a clear view of the public on location. The invitees included Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Purdue, Mayor of Tampa Jane Castor, and leaders from Congress who are supporting UAM industry growth, regulatory advancement, and acceleration of public acceptance of eVTOLs in the U.S.
Joe Lopano, TPA CEO, said; “Tampa International Airport has always embraced innovation and futuristic planning, and we’ve already identified a potential site for urban air mobility as a part of our Master Plan. This technology has the potential to transform the aviation and transportation industry, and we’re excited to partner with Volocopter as we introduce and visualize the amazing possibilities that lie ahead.”
Dirk Hoke, Volocopter CEO, added; “Flying at a large, active airport always presents a multitude of challenges, but we proved that our aircraft is safe, quiet, and efficiently useful in a city like Tampa. Volocopter sees this as a starting point of the entry into service in the U.S., and we will come back to show our continued progress. We thank all attending guests for the support given to make this first-ever eVTOL flight in Florida a success.”
Volocopter expects to receive a final certification of its commercial eVTOL aircraft, the VoloCity, from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2024. The company is also in the concurrent validation process with the FAA, which was submitted in 2020, and has been working with both authorities to bring urban air mobility to life.