REVOLT Redesigns the Paraglider as Eco-Friendly Efficient Personal Transport

Italian engineers are crowdfunding a new personal aircraft that changes the way people currently paraglide.

Glauco Tortoreto is a lifelong paragliding enthusiast and felt a solid connection to nature when soaring through the air. As he immersed himself in his hobby he started to think of transportation, especially using fossil fuel automobiles, as incredibly inefficient and old fashioned. Along with a team of engineers, designers, and paragliders, Glauco has developed REVOLT, a personal aircraft. REVOLT is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first run of production aircraft.

REVOLT resembles a quadcopter with all four propellers mounted vertically, and a harness to strap on the user’s back. The harness includes the battery pack and a parachute. The system is very similar to a standard paraglider, with batteries replacing gas powered motors and the quadcopter system in place of a giant fan. The goals when developing REVOLT were ease of use, safety, accessibility, efficiency and eco-friendly operation.

The campaign page claims that the propellers spinning in different directions will lessen the torque effects experienced during normal paragliding and give the user better precision when flying. A smartphone app also gives the user information about batteries and propellers. Up to 90 kilograms of thrust can be generated from the current prototype, and the system was designed to be transported in any sized vehicle. According to the campaign page using 64 Ampere hour batteries will require 70 minutes of charging time and give a user 40 minutes of flight time. The batteries have a theoretical life of 1000 cylcles and cost around €880. Smaller battery increments are also available.

REVOLT looks developed but in need of refining before production. The Kickstarter page says that the design is 90% finalized so there’s a good deal of work to be done before the estimated March 2017 delivery date. The benefits of the design are affordability, sustainability and efficiency. The video shows a glider, presumably Glauco, taking off and operating a REVOLT craft and if we give the system the benefit of the doubt looks to live up to its claims. My feelings about radical personal vehicle proposals is that one will eventually stick as the new transportation method, we’re just waiting for the right product, right conditions, and right timing to come along. The project itself looks to be so under-the-radar at this point that there aren’t a lot of discussions online regarding the system, good or bad. Several other systems online show electric paragliding systems, but none seem to use quadcopter propellers the way that REVOLT does. The campaign is set to end on October 19, 2016.