What has 18 propellers and requires approximately zero flying lessons to get off the ground?
Designed with simplicity, sustainability and safety in mind, the joystick-controlled Volocopter VC200 from Germany-based e-volo is a two-seat multicopter that takes off vertically. Inspired by the drone/quadcopter craze, the ultralight Volocopter is powered by an environmentally friendly rechargeable battery and equipped with an automatic altitude control and stability system that runs on cutting-edge software.
And complex safety systems are in place to ensure that even a novice pilot can get the craft airborne — and back to the ground — in one piece sans lessons or a pilot's license.
“The Volocopter is super easy to fly, silent and built with electrical simplicity compared to helicopters, which are difficult to fly, loud and mechanically complex,” says Jan Stumpf, the CEO of e-volo partner company Ascending Technologies. “Anybody could fly it within minutes.”
The aircraft’s propellers can boost it up a speed of 60 MPH and they use just two ball bearings each, so the unit is super low-maintenance and can fold up and fit on a towable trailer for simple transport.
E-volo expects to have the Volocopter up for sale in the United States in early 2018 for about $283,000.
But they’re not alone: once it does make it stateside, there’s gonna be some stiff competition.