electric multicopter

German aircraft company e-volo has accomplished what it claims is the world’s first manned flight of an electric multicopter. It uses multiple mini helicopters to lift the passenger upwards — who’s snuggled in the center of the carnage, firmly strapped to a squishy exercise ball.

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Like an UAV, the hovering device is controlled via radio control from the ground — talk about trusting.

Most readers are probably familiar with quadrocopters, which get their lift from a set of four propellers.

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At the end of October 2011, Thomas Senkel of e-volo made the first manned flight with an e-powered multicopter at an airstrip in the southwest of Germany. The flight lasted one minute and 30 seconds, after which the constructor and test pilot stated: “The flight characteristics are good natured. Without any steering input it would just hover there on the spot”. This could be the future of flight, piloting a device as simple as a car.

e-volo