In 2010, an elite team called Volocopter explicitly proposed an idea:
The drone can now take off and land vertically. Can it be loaded with people?
I did not expect that this idea was not stuck in casual talk. The following year, they successively built several prototypes: VC1 and VC2. The structure is not complicated, just using a dozen sets of propellers, you can successfully carry a person.
The idea was successfully certified, and the drive was driven by Volocopter. In 2013, they announced the concept machine VC200. By 2016, the experimental airport launched its first first flight in Germany.
During this period, Volocopter's serial series also attracted the attention of venture capital. In 2013, they acquired a seed round of equity financing of 500,000 euros. In August 2017, Daimler participated in the instalment and investment of more than 25 million yuan in equity financing. It was this year that they launched a truly mature product: 2X.
Six Y-shaped supports form the aircraft propeller support, each with three aircraft propellers, and a total of 18 aircraft propellers constitute a multi-rotor aircraft.
The flying car has a total weight of 290kg and can load 160kg, which is equal to the net weight of two adult men. (Perhaps, men who are heavily rested are clearly above this big number)
Like a drone, the 2X flying car uses an electric engineering drive. Fill in a callback, the air time is 30 minutes, and the driving time is 30km.
Since the announcement in 2017, Volocopter 2X has obtained aviation approval payment licenses in the UAE, Helsinki and Malaysia, and all successfully completed the test flight. Among them, there are both pilots and automatic driving tests.
There is no doubt that simple testing is insufficient. During this period, they spent a lot of time dealing with commodity problems: safety, noise, and heat consumption.
Safety: From the first flight in 2011, always until 2019. In eight years, Volocopter conducted more than 1,000 aviation tests.
They want to prove to the air traffic control agency that even if a large number of commercial vehicles are commercialized, the relationship with the traditional aircraft can be fully coordinated.
Only this is not enough, Volocopter understands: the safety factor of the customer for the flying car is always from the beginning to the end. During the iterative update of the finished product, a reserved rechargeable battery and multiple parachutes were added to avoid the crash of the flying car.
Design products, maintenance, operator training, manufacturing, operating according to the standards provided by international aviation agencies, on this basis, design safety redundancy.
In the end, they passed the safety standards of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Noise: How much noise the helicopter has, most people have a deep understanding. Suppose that a large group of flying cars gather aviation with the same noise as helicopters. Maybe I am afraid of it. Volocopter first thought of this, they found that people's sense of touch is very sensitive to the singularity of the noise. For a few scattered weak noises, the perception is not obvious.
In fact, they started to reduce the net weight of the 18 aircraft propellers. The final practical result is that one aircraft propeller noise source from the helicopter is decentralized into 18 aircraft propeller noise sources on the flying car.
Volocopter's official website shows a set of statistics: at the same flight altitude (75 meters), the helicopter's noise decibel is 82dB, and the Volocopter 2X's noise decibel is 65dB, which is only slightly higher than the human voice. decibel.
Heat consumption: For the flying car, the most power-consuming driving link is vertical take-off and landing. Whether it is taking off or landing, all lift must be borne by the system software. Volocopter has published a set of statistics to the public: their 2X is in the vertical takeoff and landing, the power reaches 500-1000kW.
What is the definition of this big number? Even if the landing and landing time can only be as short as 3 minutes, it can consume 50kWh of electricity, which is equal to the Tesla Model 3 of a car's standard endurance version.
It is even more difficult to be behind: the air distance is getting farther and farther, and the net weight of the rechargeable battery pack is also larger, and the average energy consumption is calculated.
This is exactly the case, Volocopter chose to set the 2X cruising range to 30km, pursuing energy efficiency.
Of course, the negative impact is not small, which directly leads to their flying car can only travel for 30 minutes at a time. In the end, they are forced to invest in future commercial operations.