Subscribe Free
in General Aviation

Dubai's unmanned Volocopter air taxi makes first flight

Posted 26 September 2017 · Add Comment

Dubai's much feted unmanned aerial taxi has made its first flight.

The maiden concept flight of the Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT), the UAV that will eventually become world’s first self-flying taxi service set to be introduced by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority in 2022, took to the skies yesterday after the launch button was pressed by Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.
There had been a lot of speculation that the concept – using the German built Volocopter – was more pie in the sky than a real project, but yesterday’s maiden flight proved beyond all doubt that the intentions are real and that the technology works.
The test flight from Jumeirah Beach Park was considered a success. “After the remarkable success of the first driverless metro in the region, we are glad to witness today the test flight of the Autonomous Air Taxi,” said Sheikh Hamdan. “This is another testament to our commitment to driving positive change. We are constantly exploring opportunities to serve the community and advance the prosperity and happiness of society.”

Dubai announced its plans to trial the Volocopter back in June. The emirate has plans to have , autonomous vehicles handle a quarter of all passenger journeys in the city by 2030. With low noise levels and utilising “clean” electricity, the Volocopter will have a maximum flight time of 30 minutes between charges. It will cruise at around 50 km/h although it has a maximum speed of double that.

"The Autonomous Air Taxi has a variety of unique features that include top security and safety standards, and multiple redundancies in all critical components such as propellers, motors, power source, electronics and flight controls," said HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of Dubai's Road and Transport Authority. "It is also fitted with optional emergency parachutes, nine independent battery systems, and a battery quick-charge and plug-in system, which takes two hours to reach full charge in the prototype version, a time that will be significantly reduced in the production version."
It is expected to be capable of carrying two passengers although weights and landing sites have yet to be determined. The first date for flying live passengers is also not yet revealed.

Sheikh Hamdan presses the button to launch the Volocopter watched by Dubai's director general of civil Aviation Mohammed Ahli (Picture Gov't of Dubai)

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Etihad and SWISS sign codeshare

Etihad Airways and Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) have launched a new codeshare partnership with bookings effective immediately.

Emirates flight lands at newly inaugurated Muscat International

Emirates landed a scheduled commercial flight at the newly inaugurated passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport last night.

Turkish Airlines adds Samarkand to its route network

Turkish Airlines has added Samarkand in Uzbekistan to its flight network.

Reaching nilestones

Nile Air, Egypt’s largest privately owned airline, is exploring several avenues to ensure its continued growth in the challenging economic climate. Alan Dron reports.

Kuwait to drive new era in global geopolitics and growth with Northern Gulf Gateway project

The first session of the Kuwait Investment Forum 2018 (KIF 2018), on ‘Investing for the Future Kuwait’ presented a bold statement in global geopolitics from Kuwait through the ambitious Northern Gulf Gateway, an integrated flagship

Interflight Middle East welcomes Falcon 2000

Interflight has expanded into the Middle East with a Falcon 2000 under sales and marketing agreement. Newly refurbished in 2017, both interior and exterior, the Falcon 2000 will be available from Europe and Middle East.

See us at
MEBAA BT2018ArabianTravelMkBT250418AirportShow BT1502090518BIAS BT271017161118Global Aerospace BT2018Aviation Africa BT18418SOFEX BT2018Istanbul Airshow BT22018