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The Volta electric helicopter, developed in Toulouse, France, by start-up company Aquinea and aviation engineering school Enac, has performed an official flight in Paris for the minister of the environment and transport. The government demonstration came after some 30 test flights have been logged.
The demo flight, held on Oct. 19 at Paris heliport, was unfortunately interrupted by rain after two minutes. However, the 30 flights completed to date represent a total of two flight hours, designer Philippe Antoine told Vertical. The longest flight lasted approximately 15 minutes.
All took place in ground effect or at low height. Aquinea’s first goal is measuring electric performance rather than opening the flight envelope.
The company also has unveiled the outlines of a two-seater that would be based on the current single-seat prototype. It would be targeted at flying schools and private pilots. The Volta 2 concept would feature three motors, an independent tail rotor system and easily removable lithium-sulphur batteries. The electric system would be entirely redundant. Endurance is planned to be 45 minutes in hover and 55 minutes in cruise.
A two-seater would not be necessarily developed by Aquinea, as the team hopes to sell its know-how to a larger company.
So, what was the first flight date?
February 17th, 2016…
video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fqDM-4kS2o
Short but real flight.
e-R44 flew around 5min in translation, Volta proven more than 9min in hover. Also remember hovering (even IGE) is about 20% more energy consuming than cruise flight…
video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6ou4dcJg20
Anyway, this e-R44 is also a great project and everything’s done to promote and pave the way for electric flight is welcome!
Philippe – Volta Project Manager
So what’s better than the electric R44 that flew last September?
At least the R44 flew around the airport and out of ground effect !
I congratulate the Volta team on a great achievement. The day of e-helos is rapidly arriving. An important initiative in light of global consensus to minimize carbon footprints.
Is this project still active? The Volta website no longer works and there has been a dearth of information.
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