Wednesday, April 24, 2024

World’s first manned drone capable of aerobatic maneuvers was unveiled

People who fly with drones or even do aerobatic maneuvers – it all still sounds a bit like the future. However, some companies work intensively on these scenarios. Drone Champions AG, based in Liechtenstein, is one of those companies. The company, which also launched the Drone Champions League (DCL) – The Game, has unveiled the first-ever manned drone capable of aerobatic maneuvers such as rolls and loops.

The racy-looking, 12-rotor coaxial multicopter has a design that is very reminiscent of jet skis and speedboats. Equipped with six arms extending outwards, each with a pair of coaxial rotors mounted at the ends, this single-seat machine has a total of twelve propellers that allows you to lift the entire weight of the drone and whoever goes inside. The first manned drone will be piloted via the RC controller from the ground.

The drone is capable of aerobatic manoeuvres such as rolls and loops.
The drone is capable of aerobatic manoeuvres such as rolls and loops.

After several years of development, the company began testing this drone that they say are prepared to do stunts with a person inside. After initial tests of the first manned racing drone in an indoor facility in Germany, it was taken to the Vrsar in Croatia for its maiden outdoor flights a few days ago, where aerobatic maneuvers were successfully executed. Drone Champions founder Herbert Weirather has personally assisted in the testing process, sitting in the single-seat machine as it was piloted via RC controller by Mirko Cesena, who has proven experience in the control and flight of racing and aerobatics drones.

Indeed, the idea of offering a manned drone is very striking and attractive, but it is not easy. When the drones that only seek to take people from one point to another have not yet finished settling with a real solution, a proposal of this kind of flight with stunts is quite aggressive.

World's first manned drone capable of aerobatic manoeuvres was unveiled.
World’s first manned drone capable of aerobatic manoeuvres was unveiled. Credit: Red Bull content pool

We have developed and built the first-ever manned aerobatic drone with the vision to create a brand-new future racing experience and to recruit drone pilots through DCL – The Game. Everyone should have the opportunity to fly, and DCL – The Game provides a starting point,said Herbert Weirather.

In the video given below, it is seen that the team has performed a series of wild aerobatic maneuvers with a dummy passenger on board. After that, when a real person (Herbert Weirather, in this case) does it, the drone barely takes off a meter from the ground for a shorter, safer flight. Although the physics that is applied to a drone of such dimensions is the same as that of smaller unmanned models, safety measures must be maximized to avoid a fatal accident.

Anyway, according to the DCL, the experience was positive for them, and they think that this type of vehicle will change the flight experiences of many users – who dare to ride, of course. Almost certainly, sooner or later, this type of aircraft will be a reality, while you have to be patient and let the company use the test data to continue refining this model.