Volocopter's drone taxi is one step closer to entering service. The German firm has revealed that its four-seat electric VTOL aircraft, the VoloConnect, completed its first flight in May. The machine's initial trip was brief at two minutes and 14 seconds, but the maneuvers proved that the production-level aerodynamics and performance held up in real world conditions. There have been three flights so far.
The 60-mile range and 155MPH flight speed might not sound like much. However, they promise autonomous commuter flights beyond major urban centers — you could fly to a business meeting from the suburbs. The VoloConnect is effectively a companion to the VoloCity, a shorter-ranged eVTOL flier meant strictly for urban jaunts.
The VoloConnect is expected to serve customers starting in 2026, two years after the VoloCity's projected 2024 rollout. While that's a relatively long way off, Volocopter is unique in having multiple air taxis conducting real-world flight tests. The company is closer to actual commuter trips than competitors, many of whom have one model or an indefinite timeline for service.
Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Engadget.