Volocopter GmbH (originally e-volo GmbH until July 2017)
The Volocopter VC1 utilized sixteen individual rotors for up to 20 minutes of flight. The multicopter weighs 80 kg (176.4 lb) and has a 5 m by 5 m profile (16.4 ft by 16.4 ft).
e-volo co-founder Thomas Senkel was the primary designer, inventor and builder of the VC1 and VC2; he also flew the VC1 for the first time on October 21, 2011, making it the first flight of a manned electric multirotor. This flight lasted only 90 seconds, but served its purpose as the prototype to later Volocopter models like the Volocopter VC200 and Volocopter 2X.
The Volocopter VC1 was succeeded by the Volocopter VC2, which was an unmanned demonstrator that featured 18 propellers instead of 16. Its body consisted of a tetrahedron/octahedron aluminum truss frame with a central seat for test payloads. All struts were equal with 1 m length; there are two types of nodes: regular and with the motor mounting plate.
The VC2 debuted in 2012 at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This Buckminster Fuller-inspired design was chosen so that everything would fit into a small box that could be easily shipped (e.g. to Oshkosh). The frame was very lightweight and rigid. The pilot’s seat was a paraglider harness with back protection. e-volo made some radio controlled test flights with the VC2, but no manned flights.
Note: The company was known as “e-volo GmbH” until July 2017.
- Search eVTOL news posts
- Company press releases
- Website: Manned first flight writes aviation history
- Article: Air Mobility Bonanza Beckons Electric VTOL Developers, Vertiflite, March/April 2017
- Article: The Demand for On-Demand Mobility, Vertiflite, January/February 2017
- Article: It’s official, It’s a Volocopter Video (VC2), Sustainable Skies, July 16, 2012
- Article: E-Volo VC1 Volocopter has 16 rotors, flies over rush hour traffic, recombu, May 8, 2012
- Video: World’s first manned flight with an electric multicopter, forschungsbuero, November 20, 2013