CAE, a global leader in aviation training, and urban air mobility (UAM) company Volocopter signed a strategic partnership, subject to definitive agreement, to develop, certify, and deploy an innovative pilot training program for electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) operations.
This eVTOL pilot training program will develop the pilot workforce of the future and ensure safe introduction of eVTOL operations globally by leveraging CAE’s advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), as well as data analytics and Volocopter’s leading understanding of requirements for integration into the UAM ecosystem.
Volocopter’s VoloCity air taxi for commercial UAM services. © Volocopter
UAM is an emerging part of the aviation industry focused on aerial connectivity in and around cities. Volocopter’s family of electric aircraft are designed to relieve today’s heavily fossil-fueled, inner-city traffic for both people (VoloCity, VoloConnect) and goods (VoloDrone).
The company’s first commercial eVTOL aircraft, the VoloCity, is well into its certification program with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and is positioned to launch first services in time for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Earlier this month, Volocopter secured Production Organization Approval (POA) in compliance with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA Part 21G). The company is acquiring its long-standing, trusted partner in innovation and production, DG Flugzeugbau, a global leader in composite aircraft production.
Through this acquisition, Volocopter is now the first and only eVTOL company holding both the required design and production organization approvals (DOA and POA) to advance its aircraft toward commercial launch, giving it a competitive edge in the race to bring UAM to life.
Through existing agreements and partnerships with global leaders, such as Daimler, Aéroports de Paris, Microsoft Azure, and now CAE, Volocopter plans to launch its services in a number of cities globally within the next five years. Volocopter is committed to seeking certification with the highest global safety standards for aircraft and operations.
CAE commits to expanding its worldwide training network with a forecasted investment of up to US$40 million to meet Volocopter’s projected pilot demand in the early years of operation.
CAE will be deploying training equipment and instructors in lockstep with Volocopter’s growth. As part of the agreement, Volocopter will purchase a simulator from CAE to be used in its pilot training program certification. CAE will create new, student-centric courseware, specifically designed for the pilots of the future as Volocopter’s courseware provider and will also offer pilot trainees customized resources that enable faster, more efficient pilot training.
As outlined in CAE’s Advanced Air Mobility white paper published this month, advanced air mobility will create an additional surge in the demand for pilots, with an estimated 60,000 pilots needed within the first decade of operation. Volocopter and CAE will work closely together to obtain regulatory approval for their pilot training program.