Last year e-volo created an all-electric multicopter with 16 propellers, and since has developed a commercial version — the VC200. This emission-free helicopter (which the company calls a volocopter) embarked on its maiden flight in Germany last month and with 18 rotors, the aircraft apparently lifted off the ground with no problems at all — even exceeding e-volo's expectations.
The volocopter fits two passengers and is controlled using a joystick, which makes it incredibly easy to use. Taking off and landing vertically, the pilot doesn't have to worry about things like the flight path angle or pitch adjustment. If safety becomes a problem — though it probably wouldn't be because extra batteries are in place in case the drive units fail — there's a parachute that deploys to float the entire thing down to the ground.
One thing the team at e-volo was especially happy about after the test was how quiet the volocopter is. Instead of the loud vibrations one experiences on a traditional helicopter, the VC200 emits a "pleasant low, rich sound." Due to the simplistic use of carbon fiber, the light design just doesn't have the messy mechanic structure a traditional model has, which causes the uncomfortable vibrations.
Ideally, once the VC200 passes all trials and tests, it will be able to enjoyed by anyone with a private pilot license. They plan on it achieving a cruising speed of at least 100km/h (around 62mph), a flight altitude of up to 6,500 feet, and over an hour of flight time per use.