Germany-based aircraft manufacturer Volocopter has conducted the first crewed test flight of a completely electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi in South Korea’s Seoul.

This five-minute test flight, with the 2X aircraft, was conducted at Gimpo International Airport (GMP).

The air taxi operated for a distance of 3km and attained a maximum elevation of 50m at a speed of up to 45 km/h.

Volocopter’s two-seat model air taxi, driven by ‘helicopter-like’ rotors for vertical take-offs and landings, was flown by a pilot for testing and demonstrating its coordination and control.

On 16 November, Volocopter will perform a public test flight, in case of favourable weather, at Incheon International Airport, during K-UAM Confex 2021.

Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter said: “With MOLIT’s comprehensive K-UAM roadmap, South Korea is well-positioned to achieve the goal of commercialising UAM by 2025. As the pioneers of the UAM industry, we look forward to working closely with friends and partners from both the government agencies and private sectors to make UAM a reality in South Korea.”

German Ambassador to South Korea Michael Reiffenstuel said: “South Korea and Germany have enjoyed a close relationship for more than a century. We are connected by a common experience of a divided nation and strong ties in trade, education, and technology. We strongly welcome deepened cooperation in new sectors such as digitalisation, e-commerce, and urban air mobility.”

In 2019, Volocopter performed its first public flight trial over Singapore’s Marina Bay area.

Last month, Germany’s Munich Airport (MUC) International and Urban-Air Port teamed up to develop electric vertical takeoff and landing ground infrastructure and airport operations.