Electric multicopter flies manned for the first time

November 7, 2011

Thomas Senkel pilots the multicopter in its first manned test flight (credit: e-volo)

The e-volo electric multicopter has been taken on its first manned test flight by inventors Thomas Senkel, Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The e-volo prototype measures approximately 5×5 meters and allows for a payload of about 80 kg. 16 propellers provide it with the necessary uplift, and it can be landed safely even with a malfunction of up to four eco-friendly electrical engines.

A position sensor ensures the correct position in space and permanently balances position changes with rotary speed adjustment, which allows the e-volo to stay still in the air. The electrical power is supplied by lithium batteries and enables a flight time of up to 20 minutes, depending on payload. They are controllable by an iPhone or other devices.