50 SKY SHADES - World aviation news

Bonkers-looking aircraft with 18 rotors take its first crewed flight

Download: Printable PDF Date: 08 Apr 2016 00:22 category:
Bonkers-looking aircraft with 18 rotors take its first crewed flight - Manufacturer publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Country: Germany Aircraft: Helicopters
Source: The Verge

Is the Volocopter the 'dawn of a revolution in urban mobility'?

The Volocopter, a helicopter-drone hybrid with 18 rotors, took its first manned flight in Southern Germany on March 30th, the company e-volo announced. With e-volo's managing director Alexander Zosel in the cockpit, the truly strange-looking aircraft took to the skies above an airfield, hovered for several minutes, and then landed. A video chronicling the feat features heavy electronic dance music, because Germany.

Zosel was excited to have executed the first manned flight. Like very excited. "It was unbelievable," he said, "it hovered totally weightlessly, I mean it didn't at all feel like there were crazy forces at work, it was all just totally light and the Volocopter immediately converted every movement I made with the joystick."

He continued, "It is definitely a sublime feeling to lift off, fly the first few meters, and then actually take my hand off the joystick and think that, yeah, it's really as if I'm standing on the ground, and then I look down and there are 20-25 meters beneath me. So it's definitely unbelievable what we've achieved here. It's seriously unbelievable!"

The company claims its ultralight "multicopter," which is electric, emissions-free, and easy to operate thanks to its touchscreen display and joystick control, marks "the first time humans' dream of personal flight as a daily routine becomes attainable." The company claims that NASA is interested in the Volocopter as a means of alleviating traffic congestion in Silicon Valley.

All of which are bold claims for what appears to be a bunch of drones stitched together in the shape of a dream catcher. It's unclear how exactly the Volocopter will revolutionize urban mobility, or what its practical uses will be. In its announcement, e-volo says it plans to begin producing "large quantities" of the Volocopter, with the intention of both entering the "air sports market" and "air taxi services." Also, the Volocopter will also have the capability to fly autonomously. (Autopilot is not uncommon in the aviation industry, and not necessarily as complex as a self-driving car.)

In its first manned flight, the Volocopter only ascended several meters off the ground. E-volo says its next test will include higher altitudes at speeds of 30 mph. The third testing phase will attempt the Volocopter's top speed of 62 mph. E-volo's engineers built the Volocopter with assistance from drone company Ascending Technologies, which is owned by Intel. (The chip makers are also own shares of e-volo.)

Loading comments for Bonkers-looking aircraft with 18 rotors take its first crewed flight...


airBaltic Serves Over 3.5 Million Passengers In 2017

The Latvian airline airBaltic in 2017 has transported a total of 3 523 300 passengers or 22% more than last year to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East. It is the...

Mont Blanc Hélicoptères becomes official air transporter for F1 Grand Prix de France

Today Mont Blanc Hélicopères, a part of HBG Helicopter Group, became official air transporter for Formula 1 Grand Prix de France which will take place 21 to 24 of Juin 2018 at Le Castell...

Gogo Business Aviation Now Offers 30 Digital Magazine Titles and Adds Bloomberg News

Gogo Business Aviation, the leading provider of broadband connectivity products and services for business aviation, is expanding its industry-leading wireless inflight entertainment (IFE) service,&nbs...

Gulfstream announces extensive 2018 schedule of product support events

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. will host a number of product support events in 2018, including its biennial weeklong Operators & Suppliers Conference, two Customer Advisory Board meetings, two flight...