According to German aircraft developer e-volo, its multicopter is simpler in construction and mechanics than a helicopter, and safer – it can reportedly land even with up to four of its motors failed, and its propellers experience much less wear. Onboard computers running custom firmware control the rotational speed of the propellers, dictating the attitude (horizontal orientation to the ground), altitude and direction of travel of the aircraft. Potential flight times range from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on payload and battery capacity.
Four enlarged quadcopters with some rigging will be massively cheaper than a helicopter.
Larger quadcopters would cost about $1000-4000 each depending upon size and performance. This could make manned vertical takeoff and landing manned flight down to the cost of a regular car.
The vision of cheap and safe manned flight
In the next few years we would like to make more of these simple to fly devices available at an affordable price. The flyability of this device, the simple and straight forward piloting making the possibility of flight available to the average person is a goal that we strive towards.
Coming from an ultralight background, safety is written large in our books. Safety in flight will be developed with multiple concepts being hashed out and conceptuated for everyday use.
Optimization of energy usage in charging and durability in battery life is currently one of the largest problems in electrically powered transportation. The future is bright for the battery industry, as such we will strive to keep the newest and best available technology in our electrically powered devices.
A hybrid concept is in the works using a generated system be it gas, or other more efficient methods to power the device in flight.
A better flight time from on average 20-30 minutes is something we wish to improve. Hopefully the hybrid version will allow for better flight times of up to an hour or more.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.