The world's first flight on multicopter
• The first flight of the world's multicopter
In late October, the German physicist Thomas Zenkel on airfield somewhere in the south-west of Germany made an unprecedented manned flight to the extravagant helicopter - electrical apparatus, which has 16 propellers.
Multicopter - not a new word. However, this term usually refers to a small radio-controlled cars with several lifting screws, but not manned spacecraft.
Now, the terminology will have to be revised, and "guilty" this should be regarded as Germans, three of the company's e-volo. After completing a series of unmanned tests enthusiasts decided to manned flight, which lasted one and a half minutes.
The dry weight of the unit, along with lithium batteries, weighs just 80 kg, ie multicopter not only belongs to a class of ALS, and it is a new subspecies, "not far" from the electric ultralight aircraft.
Developers say that for the control pilot uses a simple joystick. At takeoff, in-flight and on landing the pilot should not really worry about the speed, pitch and other things that make life difficult for helicopter pilot.
e-volo team at full strength. From left to right: Stefan Wolf (Stephan Wolf) - programmer, software developer, Thomas Zenkel (Thomas Senkel) - project manager, author of the concept, test pilot, Alexander Tsozel (Alexander Zosel) - manager of marketing and PR.
In fact, the flight can last anywhere from ten to thirty minutes, and multicopter safely landed even if a quarter of its engines fails.
In case of trouble larger unit together with the pilot to land on a parachute, which is revealed over the whole structure (that would be impossible in the presence of helicopter rotor), transmits DVICE.
"The system was originally designed as an electric -. Quiet, clean and economically viable one-hour flight will cost about 6 euros in fees for electricity, - explains the team e-volo -. In addition, the device a few parts that can wear, which means long intervals of maintenance and low cost of it. "
multicopter control can further facilitate, for example, by the autonomous navigation by GPS or automatic detection of obstacles and so on up to an independent flight of the machine on the set points on the 3D-map. It turns out a kind of piloted drone.
Options for the future of design suggest that e-multicopter (so developers are also called your machine) is foldable.
Speaking about the possible fields of application, the main e-volo calls sports and leisure. Among others - an alternative to large and expensive helicopters in aerial photography, inspection of pipelines such as facilities, air ambulance or an air taxi.
In development is a hybrid version. That will make the company the electric motors - gasoline internal combustion engine or something else - is still unknown.
The most serious obstacle on the way to a happy future multicopter Germans consider limitations of current battery.