Glider specialist to build urban electric copter


The 18-rotor Volocopter electric rotorcraft is going into production. German glider maker DG Flugzeugbau has announced an order to manufacture ‘a large number of Volocopters’ from Volocopter GmbH.

DG will build the Volocopter 2X in serial production. In 2016, Volocopter was granted provisional licencing for a two-seater Volocopter by the German aviation authority. Last year, Volocopter announced an agreement with the Roads and Traffic Authority of Dubai to participate in the global premiere of an autonomous flying air taxi.

The Volocopter 2X features a fibre-optic network linking its motors, flight control computers and manual controls, multiple redundancy in all critical components such as propellers, motors, power source, electronics, flight control, displays, and an aircraft ballistic parachute. Volocopter quotes a maximum speed of 100 km/h (54 knots), a cruise speed of 70 km/h (38 knots) and a range of 27 km (14.5 nm).

DG traces its ancestry to 1973 when it was founded as Glaser Dirks. The company makes gliders, and pioneered motorised self-launching gliders, which it has made with piston and jet engines.