Flying taxi goes for test spin in Marina Bay

An 18-propeller drone-like flying taxi took to the skies here for the first time yesterday, as German firm Volocopter conducted a test flight of its vehicle around the Marina Bay district. The battery-operated, two-seater vehicle flew for about two m
ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

An 18-propeller drone-like flying taxi took to the skies here for the first time yesterday, as German firm Volocopter conducted a test flight of its vehicle around the Marina Bay district.

The battery-operated, two-seater vehicle flew for about two minutes and 30 seconds, with a pilot on board.

Although the vehicle is autonomous, Volocopter placed a pilot inside during the test for safety reasons.

The flight was almost delayed due to heavy rain yesterday morning, but the go-ahead to take off was given once the skies cleared.

Volocopter's air taxi resembles a helicopter, but is based on drone technology and can fly two people for about 30km.

It is designed specifically for inner-city missions and can carry 160kg.

Volocopter has already conducted tests in Helsinki, Las Vegas, Dubai and various parts of Germany, but the trial here is its first one in the centre of a city. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2019, with the headline 'Flying taxi goes for test spin in Marina Bay'. Print Edition | Subscribe