A FLIGHT OF FANCY?
I read with interest the article on the Volocopter (October, p30). As depicted, it looks interesting and capable of filling a niche, but on further examination it appears fatally flawed. What happens if the engine stops? Unlike in the helicopter, which can auto-rotate down safely in the event of engine failure, the Volocopter appears to have no provision for such a situation. The small rotors might rotate during a descent without power, but they could not provide enough life to allow the machine to make a controlled descent and a safe landing. Perhaps fewer and larger rotors might provide the solution, but then we are turning it back into a helicopter! John Fay, Somerset (author of The Helicopter) Good question, John – watch this space! We’ve been in touch with the Volocopter’s creators and will include their response in a future issue. – Ed
The Volocopter autonomous air taxi could soon become a reality – but how safe is it, asks John Fay?