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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.