Greener transportation options have become a priority in the modern world. Greener and more efficient vehicles of all types are eventually becoming the standard. Even helicopters are becoming greener. One German company, E-volo, designed several electric helicopters, and one of its models, the Volocopter VC200, recently passed its first flight tests. (Video)
E-volo’s vehicle may look bizarre, but the concept is actually brilliant. It has 18 rotors, along with 18 zero-emission motors powered by six battery packs. Its frame is created from carbon fiber to keep the aircraft lightweight and It seats two people. The most clever aspect of the VC200, however, is that it maneuvers by using its multiple propellers and changing the thrust of its motors, similar to that of a quadcopter. This makes the Volocopter VC200 easy to pilot. In case of emergencies, though, the VC200 comes equipped with a parachute.
Recently, a prototype of the VC200 took to the skies for its first series of test flights. Not only was the team impressed with the smooth flight experience of the aircraft, but they were also surprised by how quiet the Volocopter ran. The VC200 took a total of nine flights, including one that lasted nearly 22 meters. Each flight lasted a few minutes. However, the tests were limited to indoors, so who knows what’s possible once the Volocopter is taken outside? It is E-volo’s hopes that the aircraft will eventually get up to speeds of 50 knots and stay in the air for more than an hour.
Although it will still be some time before the VC200 goes into production, results from the successful test flights will be analyzed for future improvements.