This is indeed interesting! A few more details would help, but what is there seems almost like enough for others to duplcate the thing. I can see that stability would require close control of motor speeds, and I do wonder just a bit about how to turn and steer the thing. It sort of looks a bit like the helicopter windmill written up a few weeks ago, which could be flown up to where the airflow was much higher, at which point it would serve as a generating windmill. So we do have a really interesting concept here.
It's a pretty impressive achievement, but maybe not a game-changer. Hovering and station-keeping is good, but I'd want to see some evidence of direction control, turning, and straight-line movement. Can it rotate on its own vertical axis (a useful feature of ordinary helicopters)? The noise of 16 uncorrelated propellors is an interesting sound.
And those guys better stick to engineering -- the video production was pretty hilarious, particularly the uber-dramatic style of the opening, and the choice of music.
Great report and such an interesting subject. Very interesting design. I know there are some drones with electrical motors used in Israel, but clearly not the size and design like that with multi motors. I agree that we need to see some controlled motion, rotation and direction controll.
Thiis has a very interesting video, although I would rather have not had so much bandwidth taken up by the dramatic sound track. Those are quite small motors, it appears. It was not clear what the mechanism is for controlling the flight direction, that would be interesting to see.
It looks a bit like a project that others could duplicate, which could be the start of something big. Really big indeed.
Are you able to provide additional information about the voltages and power levels, and anything else?
This is a nifty vehicle, but it's clear why it didn't take off (pun intended). No reverse alone presents a big problem. I would imagine wind is a tad rough on passengers. I wonder how its energy consumption compares to the internal combustion engine. My guess is the helicron uses more energy per mile at an equivalent speed. It looks fairly inefficient. But maybe not.
The comment about "can still safely land even if up to four of its sixteen motors should fail" is nonsense. If you look at the design studies the four arms are meant to be folding, so the most likely failures will be in the communication link or power link at the joint (or the joint itself). Failure of four motors on one arm would be catastrophic (and rapidly so).
Also in the design studies is a three arm 12 rotor design. This probably the preferred design, one would assume the fewer rotors would have longer span and therefore more aerodynamic efficiency.
It's a fun idea though, I can see myself dodging traffic in three dimensions on my morning commute :-).
A failure spread around the pilot would still allow landing. All in one arm could wind up being hard to mannage, although still possible.
It does seem that a device like this would be within the capabilities of many builders, even though no information about the motors or props is provided. The concept is quite interesting, and I can see a possibility of using an onboard engine driven generator to provide a much longer flight time, or a hybrid version for when it needs to be quite part of the time.But I do need to find out about those motors and props.
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Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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