Man-Carrying Multi-Copter Lifts Off


An Indiana company is hoping to demonstrate a multi-copter patterned after unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that can carry a person while in autonomous or remotely operated flight at this year’s AirVenture Oshkosh. AirBuoyant, LLCof Anderson, Indiana, briefly pirouetted its VertiPod with a 125-pound man in a rudimentary cage suspended from a howling quadcopter for a videoon April 7. “It was just the proof of the concept, a very short flight,” said inventor Pete Bitar, president of AirBuoyant LLC, manufacturer of the VertiPod. “But it was exciting, doing something that’s never been done before, with a design for production.”

The plan for AirVenture is to have six-rotor, uh, device that doesn’t display all the nitty gritty. It will also be portable (in a big roller suitcase) and qualify as a Part 103 ultralight. “No pilot’s license or formal training is required,” the company said in a news release. “It can also be used in any number of pickup and delivery modes, delivering ammo and picking up a wounded soldier, for instance, or rescuing a person who has fallen through the ice.” Endurance is only a few minutes now but the company is working on that. Cost for the first 1,000 units is $23,950.