The E-Volo Multicopter
The e-volo Multicopter innovation provides human personal helicopter-like travel courtesy of sixteen electric powered propellers and is perfectly designed for short duration flights/commutes. The e-volo was created by German engineers, physicists, entrepreneurs and paragliding/ultralight flying enthusiasts Thomas Senkel, Stephan Wolf, Philipp Halisch and Alexander Zosel. With simple mechanical construction, easy-to-fly controls via a simple joystick and using software-controlled independent motors and redundant engines (up to four can fail and the e-volo can still land safely), the e-volo is classified as an ultralight with an empty weight of only 80kgs (176lbs) and can stay aloft for ten to thirty minutes. For additional safety the e-volo can also be fitted with a parachute, and flight duration time is expected to grow as battery technology improves or if hybrid (gasoline) engines were used instead of electric power. An hour-long flight costs around €6 (US$8.25) in electrical power to charge the lithium batteries, and with simple propellers and low maintenance intervals, the cost of operation are expected to be extremely low.