The Volocopter VC200, which we spoke to you about two years ago, should obtain certification from the German authorities within the coming days. The marketing of this electric two-seater helicopter is announced for 2017.
At Karlsruhe, Germany, 50 miles (80 kilometres) northwest of Stuttgart, the prototype test flights are underway. Last month, equipped with an onboard payload of 265 lbs (120 kg), several unmanned outdoor flights tested the operation of the aircraft - and all with the aid of a simple joystick, situated well away from the aircraft.
Ultimately it will form the main element of the instrumentation panel, because it is with this that the pilot will control the helicopter; and no foot pedals here either. Altitude control, hovering, landing: almost everything has been automated. If we are to believe the project founders, piloting the VC200 will be a breeze.
Alexander Zosel, CEO of e-Volo: “We are flying a flight programme with it, and besides that, we are also developing the next prototype, and this prototype will be the first prototype of the serial production.”
Designed for leisure and flight training schools, this electric helicopter, equipped with 18 rotors, powered by six batteries, now has a flight autonomy of 25 minutes. The stated goal is to more than double this to at least one hour, when introduced onto the market.
Its selling price has increased since 2013, and now close to 350,000 euros. The first manned test flights, are planned for before the end of this year. Eventually, the e-Volo company would like to develop different versions of their helicopter, ranging from one to four-seaters. Since its inception, eight million euros have been invested in the project.