Started out as a rather crude and dangerous multi-rotor flying rig, e-volo’s first aircraft has evolved into Volocopter VC200 which made its unmanned flight late last year. Fast forward to 2016, this VTOL personal air transportation vehicle has achieved yet another milestone: armed with the permit-to-fly in Germany, it made its first manned flight in March this year. The aircraft took to the sky at Airfield Bruchsal with Alexander Zosel, director of e-volo GmbH, at the stick. Alexander piloted the VTOL craft, circling and hovering at a height of around 20-25 meters. While it did not make high ceiling, it was nevertheless an important milestone and inches a step closer to the reality of joining the handful of personal flight. Upon landing, Alexander said:
“The flight was totally awesome… I got in, we did the pre-checks for what felt like maybe 20 seconds, and after that I’d already got the all-clear for flying. I didn’t wait long, I simply pushed the lever upward and the Volocopter simply sprung upward in a single bound. It is definitely a sublime feeling to lift off, fly the first few meters, and then actually take my hand off the joystick and think that, yeah, it’s really as if I’m standing on the ground, and then I look down and there are 20-25 meters beneath me. So it’s definitely unbelievable what we’ve achieved here. It’s seriously unbelievable!”
With easy and safe to fly principle, Volocopter aims to “make personal flight as a daily routine” for everyday people. Well, actually not quite, everybody, but at least to those who can afford this yet-to-be-priced multicopter. Moving forward, e-volo aims to achieve a type certification and to mass produce Volocopter. Other possible uses for Volocopter apart from personal air transport would be air sports and even air taxi services. Autonomous flight is also being considered.
Anywho, there are a lot of things going on and even though the place where most of us resides won’t see the light of day with regard air sports, much less personal air transportation, we feel equally excited about developments such as the Volocopter VC200. Keep going to catch the monumental flight in the embedded video below.
All images by Nikolay Kazakov, courtesy of e-volo.