The World’s First Electric Multicopter Flight

In late October, German engineer and founder of e-Volo, Thomas Senkel, flew for the first time in an aircraft called the multicopter. This multicopter is driven purely by electric energy and can be classified as an ultra-light aircraft with more engines and propellers than the average helicopter.

The e-Volo multicopter has not less than 16 electric motors, as many propellers, and a weight (without load) of 80 kg including the electric batteries. The method used to build e-Volo is absolutely trivial: light metal structure made of aluminum, some lithium-ion batteries, electric motors and, finally, a ball that cushions the pilot’s landing who sits in a chair above the thing.

Senkel says that the hardest challenge was adjusting the software for simultaneous control of 16 engines. Speed variations or battery failures could lead to a physical imbalance of the machine, thus the software handles all of these parameters. The e-Volo multicopter is currently in prototype mode and can fly for about 30 minutes, but the German engineers are working on improving and easing the structure to overcome a range of at least one hour of continuous flight.

[Source]


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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting.  Does this thing have the ability to auto-stabilize through some some kind of computer controlled gyro?  Or does the pilot have to constantly make slight corrections?  The only thing that worries me is that the props are exposed.  They should at least put some lightweight grating over the top of the blades in case the copter crashes, because it looks like you could get cut up pretty bad in an accident.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Interesting.  Does this thing have the ability to auto-stabilize through some some kind of computer controlled gyro?  Or does the pilot have to constantly make slight corrections?  The only thing that worries me is that the props are exposed.  They should at least put some lightweight grating over the top of the blades in case the copter crashes, because it looks like you could get cut up pretty bad in an accident.

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