Volocopter Manned Flight Expected Soon

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The VC200 unmanned flight in 2013.

The VC200 unmanned flight in 2013.

Volocopter VC200, the electric-powered multicopter that first flew unmanned in November 2013, will fly with a pilot for the first time sometime this summer, a spokesperson for e-volo told AVweb this week. "We are currently performing an extensive test program with various unmanned aerial test vehicles," Kathrin Mohr said in an email. "This test series will continue until late summer. Integral part of the test schedule are the first manned flights with the Volocopter." The team will provide extensive video of the first flight, Mohr said, and if the flight schedule works out to make it possible, they would like to be at EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh. Whether they will bring the Volocopter to this summer's show for flight demos is still uncertain.

The engineering team recently has been working with two small remote-controlled prototypes for carrying out tests of their technology, "in preparation for the preliminary airworthiness certificate," according to a post on the e-volo website last month. The two prototypes make it possible to "thoroughly test all critical components of the VC200 prior to the manned test flights … Immediately upon successful completion of the test series with the prototypes, all flights with the VC200 will follow," according to the site. The Volocopter is powered by 18 small rotors, powered electrically. It was on display at Aero 2014. At this year's show, only a small model was on display in the electric-aircraft area, while the team continued work on their test program.