If $250,000 for a seat on one of Virgin Galactic’s upcoming space tourism flights sounds a little on the pricey side, then how about a more modest $350 to become one of the first passengers on the extraordinary Volocopter?
A decade in development, the two-seat autonomous aircraft is the work of a German firm of the same name. When regulators give it the green light, Volocopter plans to use the vertical-takeoff-and-landing machine for air taxi services in urban areas.
As part of efforts to demonstrate that the project is moving in the right direction, Volocopter this week opened reservations to give members of the public the first chance of flying aboard its all-electric aircraft.
Each of the 1,000 “VoloFirst” tickets costs 300 euros (about $350) and can be reserved online with a 10% deposit, the company announced.
The flight will last around 15 minutes, with each passenger presented with a personalized certificate together with a video of their trip.
But before you put your name down, there are a couple of things you should know. First, ask yourself, are you the patient type? Volocopter’s “realistic timeline” for launching its VoloFirst flights means your trip will only happen after the aircraft’s commercial launch, which is expected “in the next two to three years.” Second, are you cool with not knowing where the flight will take place? No, Volocopter hasn’t said. We’ve reached out to the company for more details and will update this article when we hear back.
Touted as safe, simple, quiet, and versatile, the 18-rotor Volocopter is powered by nine lithium-ion batteries and has a maximum speed of 68 mph. Cruising at a speed of 43 mph gives the aircraft range of 22 miles (35 km), making it suitable for speedy trips across town.
The Volocopter has already undergone a string of test flights, including in Helsinki and Singapore. The company is competing with a slew of others around the world, all vying to become the first to launch a commercial flying taxi service. Thankfully, this rickety contraption is not in the race.