Dynamic Flight Testing for Volocopter

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Kathrin Mohr sent this interesting update on the Volocopter VC200 demonstrating its dynamic flight properties.  Testing took place a “special flight test area in Bavaria,” with the goal being to find out how the two-seat vehicle handles at higher altitudes and speeds.

The first manned flight took place in Bruchsal near Karlsruhe this year at the end of March, with managing director Alexander Zosel at the controls – when he wasn’t showing how the machine could manage itself hands off.

By flying at around 330 feet, well above ground effect’s added lift, the VC200 shows it can maintain stable flight with adequate power, and can maneuver at higher speeds, up to 51.1 kilometers per hour (31.7 mph) in these tests.    Volocopter’s designers, engineers and programmers will use results in optimizing flight characteristics for serial production, and determining power requirements for different flight maneuvers at different speeds.  Only slightly disappointing, e-volo coyly avoids number on the noise test part of the video, although the soundtrack indicates a low noise level, even at the gross weight of 450 kilograms (990 pounds).

Positioning and height automation were deactivated during parts of the testing, allowing evaluation of the limits of flight behavior for the helicopter.  Since the aircraft has demonstrated that it can operate without a pilot on board, the e-volo development team was able to fly its by remote control, taking advantage of a special permit for that purpose.

As the VC200 might look when it comes into production and helps clear up freeway congestion in the bay area

As the VC200 might look when it comes into production and helps clear up freeway congestion

According to e-volo, “The flight characteristics can be predetermined by altering the parameters in the control software. The goal is to program the future series-produced Volocopter as a sporty and agile aircraft while also preventing unsafe flight maneuvers, no matter how aggressively the pilot operates the joystick.“

e-volo can now proceed with the next steps for hardware and software, with more test flights to follow.

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