In late October, Thomas Senkel of e-volo completed the world’s first manned flight of an electric multicopter on an airstrip in the southwest of Germany. The flight lasted one minute and 30 seconds. Of the flight, the constructor and test pilot said, “The flight characteristics are good-natured. Without any steering input it would just hover there on the spot.” The video after the jump shows how simple and nimble this aircraft is, using a yoga ball as landing gear stabilized by spidery arms. That the e-volo multicopter’s flight resembles the takeoffs of alien spacecraft in sci-fi movies – it’s able to turn on a dime as it rises into the air.

Although this multicopter is bare bones and looks as if it would easily be swept around by winds, just imagine this setup encased in a carbon fiber body shell and fitted out with stabilizing equipment. Could this be the green future of flight? All we know is that it looks like a ton of fun. Check out the flight (starting at 1:40 into the video) to see Senkel navigate using a remote control. You can learn more about the multicopter and e-volo’s plans to sell them to the public at the e-volo website.

+ e-volo

Via CBS News