E-volo (Doesn’t) Hit the Ceiling

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

According to its makers, “e-volo’s Volocopter is a revolution in aviation made in Germany.  Safer, simpler, and cleaner than normal helicopters, it has a unique way of moving – a groundbreaking innovation. The Volocopter is an environmentally friendly and emission-free private helicopter. Instead of one combustion engine, eighteen electrically driven rotors propel it.” Alexander Zosel, managing director of e-volo, says that the VC200’s maiden flight and first test flights in the dm-arena in Karlsruhe, Germany on November 17 are precursors of coming production models. “There are already numerous requests for the Volocopter from around the world,” he added. The two-seat vehicle made several flights lasting several minutes each, climbing within the gymnasium but not presenting any danger to hanging lights …

Even in Second Place, VC200 Dominates Awards

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Volocopter has evolved from a pilot sitting on a Pilates ball surrounded by multiple model airplane motors to the VC200 – the first Volocopter to carry two people, according to parent company e-volo.  As recipient of a 2 million euros grant from the federal ministry of economics and technology, e-volo has worked with a research and industry syndicate to craft the VC200. A sleeker, more finished-looking project than the original flight vehicle, the VC200 held pride of place 15 meters above the crowd attending the “GreenTec Awards” in Berlin, Europe’s largest environmental and economic prize.  Completed just in time for the event, and assembled in the auditorium where it received its award, the first prototype of the VC200 was an …

What Has 16 Motors, a Pilates Ball, and Flies?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Your editor would rest easier at night knowing that the intrepid test pilot of this stalky creation were strapped onto a proper seat with a proper restraint system, but the current impromptu nature of keeping the operator out of the multiple twirling blades has worked – so far. Despite its gangly, random appearance, the E-Volo is not just tossed together.  The 16 Hacker motors (editor’s best guess – or they might be budget Asian copies), controllers, and large diameter propellers need to be modulated with great finesse to maintain level flight, and that suggests a sophisticated control system, as designed by Stephan Wolf underlying the design.  It must work exceedingly well, since pilot Thomas Senkel reported that, “The flight characteristics …