ABOVE: ‘The addition of the VoloCity to Bristow’s operational fleet opens doors to new routes and service opportunities within urban environments,’ notes the eVTOL manufacturer

Bristol Group Inc. has placed a firm order for two Volocopter VoloCity eVTOL (electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft, with the option of purchasing a further 78, to ‘explore and develop passenger and cargo services for eVTOL aircraft in the US and UK’.

The partnership will see the ‘world’s leading global provider of innovative and sustainable vertical flight solutions’ and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) pioneer Volocopter work together to deliver passenger and cargo transport services. The joint development agreement ‘covers the exploration of commercial, operational and eVTOL aircraft management services,’ and Volocopter’s proprietary digital platform VololQ will also be adapted to ‘ensure Bristow’s efficient future operations’.

Volocopter’s two-seat multicopter is expected to receive final EASA type certification in 2024 before commercial services commence in Paris next summer; the first European city (and potentially the first worldwide) to offer public eVTOL flights within this timeframe. Concurrent FAA certification would also allow Volocopter to commence commercial flights in the US.

Describing how Volocopter’s “simple and elegant initial aircraft design” is “leading the pack in its efforts to bring their aircraft to market,” Dave Stepanek, Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer for Bristow, noted his company was “looking forward to lending [Bristow’s] 75+ years of innovation and experience in bringing new aircraft into service and developing new markets side-by-side Volocopter”.

Christian Bauer, CFO and CCO of Volocopter, confirmed that “with this collaboration, Volocopter surpassed 500 pre-orders accumulated including nearly 30 firm orders from reputational partners”.