Drone taxi takes 1st spin near Paris

A Volocopter 2X drone taxi performs an integrated flight in conventional air traffic at Pontoise airfield in Cormeilles-en-Vexin, France, on Nov. 10.

PARIS (Reuters) — An electric helicopter with multiple rotors took its first flight in conventional air traffic near Paris on Nov. 10 as it prepares for commercial flights from 2024.

The Volocopter test aircraft, which resembles a large drone with eight rotors, took off with a passenger on board from the Pontoise-Cormeilles airfield outside Paris and briefly circled around while other aircraft were in the vicinity.

German company Volocopter CEO Dirk Hoke said that in the next 18 months the company will prepare its craft for certification and said he hopes to launch short commercial flights by 2024, when Paris holds the Summer Olympic Games.