If you're wondering why there are electric planes, electric cars, and all kinds of other electric vehicles floating around, but no electric helicopters, it's because these lean machines require a lot of battery power to take off, hover, and land. So when Solution F commissioned electrical and aerospace engineer Pascal Chretien to build an electric helicopter, he knew he needed to replace the most energy-intensive functions, such as the tail rotor and cyclic control, with ultra-lightweight alternatives that would reduce the battery load. And he was successful! Beating aviation giant Sikorsky's record, the manned electric prototype flew untethered for 2 minutes and 10 seconds at considerable personal risk to Chretien, an experienced helicopter pilot.
Helicopters require a lot of battery power
Which is why electric helicopters have been slow to take off
So, when Solution F commissioned Pascal Chretien to building an electric helicopter
He knew he had to replace energy-intensive functions with lighter weight alternatives
Instead of an energy intensive tail rotor, he added a coaxial design with 2 counter-rotating rotors on top that only requires a lightweight tail fin
And instead of cyclic control, he added a big set of handlebars for the weight-shifting system
These interventions combined resulted in 5 kg weight reduction
But the controls are reversed from standard helicopters
So Chretien had to train himself on a pendular weight shifting system to ensure he did not respond the wrong way in the air
And he was successful! The first every manned electric helicopter flight lasted 2 minutes and 10 seconds.