Electric Multicopter ‘e-volo’ successfully completes manned flight
The innovative and all-new, ultralight electric multicopter recently took to the skies and successfully completed the world’s first ever manned test flight of this kind.
According to the official webpage of this futuristic aerial transportation device, “… e-volo multicopter is an innovative, vertically starting, human carrying transportation device that is uncatagorisable to its current flight counterparts.
The e-volos sixteen propellers allow it to take off and land similar to a helicopter. Its massive plus points compared to a helicopter are the simplicity of its engineered construction without complicated mechanics and its redundant engines. Should anything go wrong, e-volo can still safely land even if up to four of its sixteen motors should fail. Flight time can last between ten to thirty minutes, depending on the payload and the capacity of the lithium batteries. With an empty weight at 80 kg (including batteries), e-volo fits into the class of ultralights.
In difference to other helicopters or multi-rotors, e-volo can use a safety parachute, as there are no propellers blocking the deployment area above.
The propellers create the full lift, and are also responsible for balancing the device on all three axes only by independent speed control of the motors. E-volo from the beginning has been designed entirely as an electrically powered device. Unlike the rotor of a helicopter, the propellers dont´t have any pitch control and therefore no wear. These factors make the multicopter mechanically simple, with close to no maintenance necessary.
The automatic attitude and directional control are taken care of by multiple separate and mutually monitoring onboard computers, controlling the engines with the precise rotation speed necessary to fly this tri-axis device. A simple joystick allows the pilot to control the aircraft via a fly-by-wire system. Whether during vertical takeoff, in flight, or landing, the pilot has to pay little attention to minimum speed, stall, gas mixture control, pitch control or one of many other things that make conventional flight as challenging as it is.
This electrically driven system is quiet, clean and economically cost efficient. A one-hour flight would cost something near to 6 Euro for electricity. In addition, the device holds few parts, which could wear out, making maintenance intervals and cost low and far between.
The control firmware can be integrated with a sophisticated integrated GPS system or obstacle detection. As such, automated flight for predetermined points on a 3D map is possible. In addition to the relieving the pilot of strenuous navigational tasks, unmanned flight would be feasible similar to other devices (drones).”
We can’t wait to take this baby for a ‘spin’!