E-volo's Volocopter VC1 is a 16-propeller vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft that can seat one person.
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The electrically powered Volocopter has a relatively simple construction with redundant propellers for safety.
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E-volo's Thomas Senkel gets ready to take the VC-1 on its first flight, which took place last year in Germany.
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E-volo describes the operation of the Volocopter as "child's play." The fly-by-wire control is done with a joystick.
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The Volocopter "takes off and lands vertically and the pilot pays little or no attention to the flight path angle, minimum speed, stall, mixture control, pitch adjustment, and many other things which make conventional aviation so demanding," says E-volo.
The first flight lasted 1 minute and 30 seconds.
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E-volo is pursuing development of versions of the Volocopter, such as this single-seater, that resemble conventional helicopters to some degree.
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The propellers would be arranged in an umbrella network, with another behind the cockpit for forward thrust.
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The Volocopter VC Evolution 2P is a concept two-seater aircraft that would weigh some 1,000 pounds and fly at least 60 mph. It could go up to 6,500 feet and stay in the sky for at least an hour.
An airframe parachute would deploy in emergencies.