E-volo has reported that its Volocopter — a revolutionary, environmentally friendly helicopter propelled by 18 electrically driven rotors rather than a combustion engine — has successfully performed its maiden flight.
The maiden flight and first test flights were conducted in the dm-arena in Karlsruhe with the prototype of the two-person VC200 on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. Based on this model, it will be prepared for series production in the coming years. “There are already numerous requests for the Volocopter from around the world,” said Alexander Zosel, managing director of e-volo.
With multiple flights lasting several minutes reaching the nearly 22-meter high ceiling of the dm-arena, including a number of smooth takeoffs and landings, the Volocopter concept exceeded all expectations. “Rich and incredibly quiet sound, absolutely no noticeable vibrations in the flight, convincing structure with a great, new spring strut landing gear, and an extremely calm rotor plane,” concluded the e-volo managing director, thanking the KMK. “New innovations that have the possibility to change our world are continually presented at the Messe Karlsruhe. Therefore it was natural to work in partnership with the e-volo team to enable the test flights in the dm-arena,” announced KMK managing director Britta Wirtz. “The fair is not just a display of strengths in the technology field, but concretely supports pioneers of aviation as well.”
The developing team of e-volo knew from the onset that the Volocopter was very easy to fly. Due to elaborate simulations at the Stuttgart University, they already knew that it was much more quiet than a helicopter. However, the pleasant low, rich sound and the lower-than-expected noise level caused great cheering among the e-volo team during the first flights.
People were eager to know whether there would be disturbing or even dangerous vibrations in the mechanic structure of the rotor plane. “Such vibrations are a large problem for normal helicopters,“ stated e-volo managing director Stephan Wolf, adding that “there, the vibrations together with the deafening noise have lead to much discomfort on passenger flights in helicopters." Due to the complex structure of the Volocopter in carbon lightweight design, it was not possible to simulate the expected vibrations in the laboratory. “The result of the first flight created a euphoria among the entire project team.” Wolf and Zosel further stated that “not even the HD video cameras secured to the exterior carbon ring of the rotor plane captured the least vibrations.”
More information and a video of the flight can be found on the e-volo website, www.e-volo.com.