We have seen electric helicopters in the past but a new kind of machine has been made by Thomas Senkel. The 16 rotor E-Volo apparently can hover motionless in the air without any input from the pilot and can be steered easily by the use of a joystick. This new helicopter completed its maiden flight of 1 minute 30 seconds recently. Its total flight time before recharge is around 20 minutes. Senkel and his two friends believe that their machine could be useful for pipeline inspections, for taking aerial pictures and even as a flying car!
They even feel that when they manage to make the flights last longer and carry more people, the E-Volo will make the helicopter obsolete as it is much easier to operate thanks to its rotor speed, which is computer controlled and requires only a joystick for maneuvering. This flying machine runs on lithium-ion batteries, which does not provide enough flight time. But considering the rapidly growing technology, there sure will be a better alternative soon. The estimated cost of a one hour flight when calculating the electricity used comes to six Euros.
The inventors claim that “simplicity of its engineered construction without complicated mechanics, and redundant engines” make it very special. It can land safely in a emergency with just 12 out of its 16 rotors. And because the propellers are placed below the pilot, a safety parachute can also be used. The trio has also conducted several drone flights by using remote controls. Let us see if this flying machine actually achieve the destination its inventors have envisioned for it.