Here’s a super-green drone you can ride and pilot without any experience

Consumer drone piloting is no longer limited to handheld operation. If you’re thinking that flying a drone would probably require a decent amount of flight training and experience — you’re wrong.

German-based company e-vole GmbH has constructed what it calls “the safest sports aircraft in the world,” basically a drone-helicopter hybrid vehicle that anyone can pilot and ride inside.

(Image Credit: eVolo)
(Image Credit: eVolo)

Back in November, the Volocopter, as it’s been named, underwent a series of test-flights, which comprised multiple unmanned flights. The company demonstrated various technical innovations that don’t exist in conventional helicopters, such as an automatic altitude control, position hold, and landing system that enables the Volocopter to stay in one position accurately and automatically, even in turbulence or crosswinds.

In order to land the Volocopter, the pilot only needs to operate the altitude control. The aircraft will descend toward the ground and automatically slow-down when close until it touches down softly.

While it seems unsafe to pilot a helicopter with no experience, e-Volo boasts a high level of safety in aviation. Safety-related components appear multiple times throughout the vehicle, monitor each other and compensate for the malfunction of individual components. What this means is that even if some of the motors stop functioning, the vehicle can continue to operate. In addition, each Volocopter comes with 18 rotors for added efficiency and safety advantages.

So, a pilot no longer needs to worry about the gliding angle, minimum speeds, stalling, mixture control, pitch adjustment and other factors that are important in conventional flying. All that’s needed is a provided direction.

Volocopter is also considered to be environmentally friendly, equipped with electric motors that provide a quiet and eco-friendly alternative to traditional helicopters.

The electric motors allow the helicopter to fly for only about 20 minutes at a time, but the company is working on the integration of a serial hybrid drive to extend flight time and application options.

As soon as all requirements of the responsible aviation authorities are fulfilled, first manned flights will begin.

Watch the video below, where a pilot lets go of the joystick, puts his hands up in the air, and the Volocopter remains in place. When he wants to land, the pilot presses down on the altitude control and the helicopter lands automatically. In autonomous test flights, the Volocopter was flown with an additional 265-lb load on the seats to mimic the weight of a pilot.


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