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Riku Tanaka
November 23 18:31

Startup Volocopter closes its test air taxi station only one week after launch

The company's transport was not yet ready for fully-fledged flights, journalists say.
Air-transport startup Volocopter officially opened its first VoloPort air-taxi test station on October 21st on a floating platform in Singapore at Marina Bay. But the site was closed after only a week following its launch, according to The Verge.
Public testing of the Volocopter 2X took place on October 22 - for several minutes the air-taxi took to the air, flying roughly 700 meters above the water level. The spectators’ attention was drawn to the low noise levels, but The Verge journalist noted that "at that distance it would have been quiet anyway."
Other possible problems with air taxi could be attributed to the weather, the newspaper notes. The Model 2X weighs only 290 kg without passengers or cargo, which makes it vulnerable to strong gusts of wind and rain. Volocopter admitted that bad weather flights would have to be suspended.
The pilotless aircraft never landed at VoloPort. According to The Verge, the station was dismantled and packed to deploy in the future.
Most of the VoloPort is occupied by the registration and waiting areas. Of course parking for aerotaxi is also on the site. “The interior resembled a sterile sci-fi movie set,” the newspaper writes.
Volocopter wants to focus on flights between VoloPort within the city, notes The Verge. The company plans to build dozens of air taxi stations in Singapore by 2035. Volocopter expects to begin its first commercial transport in 2022.
Volocopter introduced VoloCity Air Taxi for commercial flights back in August of 2019. The air transport can carry two passengers to distances of up to 35 km. Instead of a helicopter propeller, the air taxi utilizes 18 rotors to make less noise.
In October of 2019, the company unveiled its new VoloDrone aircraft for cargo transportation. The craft is able to carry loads of up to 200 kg at distances of up to 40 km.