We’ve seen quadrocopters galore over the past few years. We’ve never seen one big enough to lift a person until now.
[Thomas], [Stephan], and [Alexander] of e-volo have been working on a gigantic, human-lifting multicopter for a few years now. A few days ago, their prototype took to the air carrying a fully human pilot. There aren’t a whole lot of details on their build, but from what we can tell the flight was powered entirely by batteries.
The test vehicle looks to be a study in minimalism. The landing gear looks to be a repurposed yoga ball, and the chassis is just four pieces of aluminum tube welded into a cross. The the power plant for the prototype is four brushless motors in each quadrant of the vehicle. That’s right – there are 16 motors spinning around the pilot.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a build based on Doctor Robotniks designs. Earlier this year, some guy in China built a
very nice deathtrap an octocopter. The e-volo team definitely has the leg up in safety considerations – they have actual design and engineering studies
The good news is the e-volo team wants to improve their prototype and sell it to the masses. The bad news for Americans is the FAA hasn’t taken too kindly to electric flying machines. The team is working on a hybrid drive version, and as long as the weight is kept down, we can always get an ultralight cert.
Check out the video of some 16-blade hovering action after the break.