Volocopter Reinvents Flight
Battery technology has reached a point at which what was thought impossible, is now possible. Two years ago, a group of German engineers and inventors pooled their resources and know-how to test a simple idea – can you get off the ground with 16 rotors instead just one? And can it be done with electric motors alone? Watch to find out more….
Amazing! What the heck is it?
The e-volo volocopter is a completely novel, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) manned aircraft, which cannot be classified in any known category (edit: as of January 3rd, 2013, they are the first categorized ‘Electric VTOL’ aircraft). The fact that it was conceived of as a purely electrically powered aircraft sets it apart from conventional aircraft. Through the use of its many propellers, the volocopter can take off and land vertically like a helicopter. A considerable advantage, apart from the simple construction without complex mechanics, is the redundancy of drives. This enables the safe landing of the volocopter even if some drives fail.
Last year e-Volo took their project to Oshkosh to show off their two-seater Volocopter. Check out this video.
Ideally, anyone would be able to figure out how to flight one. Altering the speed of specific rotors unbalances the sum of all of the rotors rotational forces, allowing one to steer the helicopter. Tilting forwards, backwards and side-to-side is driven by increasing the power of one side and/or reducing the power on the other. An extra pusher propellor adds extra speed, and the entire design can be disassembled for transport. One problem for the Volocopter is range. At the present time, only 20 minutes of flying time has been reached – an hour is possible. For several hours of flight-time, e-Volo wants to develop a hybrid-motor system involving a combustion engine driving the electric generator. In the end, we can’t wait to see one of these in the skies, flying right over our heads in complete silence….