Although it looks a little awkward, this new multi-copter from the auto giant seems to be an excellent personal transport copter for the future. While it may be a few years away in realization, the current design is a brilliant piece of work from the German company’s designer and engineers. It is run by electricity and recently made a first test flight.
The main challenge of a copter this bizarre is to keep the balance, control altitude and provide stable flying experience for the pilot who controls the aircraft via a small joystick. There are sixteen curiously placed independent propellers installed symmetrically on the pilot’s control seat, and they appear somewhat in excess as we look at it from different angles. But, the design team would have solid reasons for this number of motors and propellers. The copter is powered by some high-quality, off-the-shelf batteries available in the market and they last around twenty minutes providing enough time for a joyride at least.
The next step for E-Volvo is to make a hybrid fuel system that will further improve the endurance up to one hour according to the company’s plans. The plethora of motors doesn’t mean that the multi-copter will be expensive to fly. Initial calculations and flight tests show that it will consume just 9$ worth of electricity per flight. Just like Volvo’s cars, safety has been termed paramount for the company and the copter’s computers can deal with major power failures as up to four engines can be safely compensated in case they stop working altogether.
Here are some more pictures of the first flight tests. Fingers crossed for its further development!