Don’t Give up On Your Jetsons Aircar Just Yet… Fly Electric Octodecacopter
Okay add some fly by wire & stability software and I’m in. What a brilliant design.
A German company has developed and flown a scaled-up version of the electric quadcopters normally seen darting around parks and fields, but this version will carry two people and could fly for up to an hour. E-volo’s new model has made “multiple flights lasting several minutes” according to the company, including flights to 22 meters (limited by flying indoors). The VC200 uses carbon fiber and 18 separate motors and propellers powered by multiple batteries for redundancy.
Unlike a traditional helicopter that uses a main rotor for lift and a tail rotor to counter the torque, the VC200 uses the multiple smaller propellers in the same way the tiny quadcopters maneuver by changing the thrust produced by each of the motors. Want to fly forward? The back motors power up a bit, tilting the helicopter forward and providing a thrust vector to the back. The idea makes the VC200 potentially as easy to fly as a small remote control quadcopter, and it will have a parachute just in case.