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Swedish engineer test flies human-carrying drone

A Swedish engineer, in his garage, has built a flying vehicle using drones and gasoline engines.

You have to see the thing to understand how insanely simple, crazy, and cool this is. For example, the whole thing is essentially nothing more than a seat surrounded by eight drones, their spinning propellers rotating only about two feet from the passenger.

But it appears to work, though the design is without doubt not quite finalized. I have embedded a video of one of his test flights below the fold. This was fortunately an unmanned flight, because about three minutes in the vehicle goes out of control and crashes.

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11 comments

  • Joe

    Cool, experimental aviation from weed wackier engines! He is going to need a computer or microprocessor to create some sort of stabilization control in case of engine out or decreased power in any one of the eight engines. The stabilization problem would be easier with electric motors, but that adds weight and complexity. No matter, this is cool, someone tinkering in the basement or garage and building something!

  • Cotour

    Yes, the gas powered concept is a bit unnerving. One malfunctioning module and more than 12 inches off the ground and disaster is eminent. But a fun garage project.

  • The pilots seat looks disturbingly like a coffin. As soon as someone else builds one, they’ll start racing.

  • Joe

    When I go flying, I almost always take a pair of wings and some control surfaces, if this engineer is thinking of flying this drone ship, and I think he is evidenced upon the coffin chair, he had better have his insurance paid up, as a hobby to play with, this is fine, as a means of becoming airborn, there are better and even cheaper means to do so.

  • wayne

    -Am I the only one who thinks this is sorta like re-inventing the Helicopter?

    It’s cool and all, I will not deny.
    But I agree with Joe on this one.

  • Joe

    Yes, this wheel has already been invented, even helicopters have control surfaces, and very few have more than one rotor head, no matter what, with asymmetrical thrust, very little you can do to right the ship.

  • Edward

    Sometimes the journey is the object of the exercise. Sometimes people just want to tinker around.

  • Joe

    Edward, I’m cool with that, maybe he can improvise a control system that takes care of the obvious issues, he’s not using cheap stuff, as a private pilot, I think safety is an issue here.

  • Edward

    “I think safety is an issue here.”

    Yeah, he may have decided that it is a death trap. I also suspect that had he been on board, during that test, he would have set the thing on the ground quickly, when he started having trouble.

    Then again, some people do the craziest things, to fly:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Walters

  • Joe

    Oh yeah, I forgot all about balloon chair Larry, poor guy was awarded the onarary Darwin Award! Funny and not funny.

  • Joe

    Actually it’s lawn chair Larry!

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