Volocopters: A New Mode of Transportation?
Tanya Trofimencoff posted on April 21, 2016 |
Despite the novelty, multicopter aircraft are unlikely to revolutionize urban travel.

The world’s first flight-certified Multicopter, e-volo’s Volocopter VC200 can now be flown as a manned aircraft.

This brings with it claims that the Volocopter’s development may revolutionize urban mobility. However, these machines are quite large and the expenses required for this mode of transportation may be over the top.

Just at a glance, there does not seem to be much interior space, potentially capable of holding  two people, and it appears that it may be frighteningly dangerous to fly in adverse weather conditions.

But weather aside, the Volocopter doesn’t appear to be a practical mode of transportation.

For example, is there trunk space for groceries or other cargo? It may be a fun alternative occasionally used to get from point A to point B. But where will it land?

What about repairs? How expensive are replacement parts?

E-volo managing director Alexander Zosel premiering manned flight in the Volocopter. (Image courtesy of e-volo GmbH.)
E-volo managing director Alexander Zosel premiering manned flight in the Volocopter. (Image courtesy of e-volo GmbH.)
Danger is almost constantly present on the road with cars, largely due to human error. So how will the general public make out in the air? Air traffic is complicated and difficult to monitor. New parking lots, repair shops, maintenance schedules, licenses, flight paths in the airspace, safety signs and many other factors need to be taken into account before the Volocopter can be considered a truly revolutionary solution for urban mobility.

Permission to Fly Has Been Granted

The ultralight aircraft received the ‘permit-to-fly’ from German aviation authorities in February 2016.

Simple to operate, The Volocopter is piloted one-handed using a joystick. The Volocopter is considered to operate safer and with less danger from human error than is present in conventional helicopters. If the pilot’s hand is removed from the joystick, the Volocopter can automatically hold its position.

The aircraft takes off and lands vertically, in the same manner as a helicopter. Another safety consideration is a redundancy concept in place for failure of critical components such as the loss of motors; a system which was thoroughly tested.

Volocopters for Sale

According to the team, Volocopter sales will begin as early as 2018. Though the Volocopter team sees their vehicle as a revolution, customers will most likely be those who would just like to buy a fun toy to fly around.

Up, up and away! (Image courtesy of e-volo GmbH.)
Up, up and away! (Image courtesy of e-volo GmbH.)
Most urbanites need more: a combination of practicality, space, affordability, reliability in all weather conditions and accessibility to parking near the places they need to go.

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