You may remember a video featuring an unholy combination of an excercise ball and a quadrocopter from a company called e-volo. Over the past two years they have made a lot of progress towards creating a real electric flying car by teaming up with a variety of companies each with their own technical specialties. The carbon fibre composite frame and props were developed by an established sail plane company while the fail safe ballistic parachute was designed by a German aviation company. Many other companies have tried developing everything in house which is likely why you don't see M400X's everywhere by now. As you can see by the design the VC200 is similar to a scaled up quadrocopter with brushless electric motors powering the 18 props; far more than are actually needed so that you will remain in the air even if some fail. Other safety features include a backup battery which can only be used to land and the aforementioned parachute which does not have to worry about rotor placements like on a traditional helicopter. You can see some of the development history at Hack a Day.
"The e-volo VC200 has made it’s maiden unmanned flight. Does the craft above look a bit familiar? We first reported on the e-volo team back in 2011. Things have been going great for the team since then. They’ve created an 18 motor (Octadecacopter?) prototype dubbed the VC200."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel Labs cooperates with Asustek to improve cloud computing storage @ DigiTimes
- Xbox One Headset 2.5 mm Plug Adapter @ Hack a Day
- Exploits no more! Firefox 26 blocks all Java plugins by default @ The Register
- How's it going, Microsoft users? Patching your PCs? You SHOULD be @ The Register
- Nvidia ShadowPlay Gameplay Recording Software @ eTeknix