Volocopter, the flying 'car' of the future, can fly for 20 or 30 minutes on one charge and would cost about 340,000 American dollars.
The German e-Volo team is developing Volocopter, an all-electric vehicle that looks a lot like a helicopter, but that is not what it really is. In 2013 their prototype model VC200 made its first public appearance and took off without human crew inside a hangar. It was piloted remotely.
In the next few months the team hopes to make sure the personal flying vehicle of the future is ready for its big official debut with a manned flight at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The final model is not known yet, but the initial design presented a two-seated vehicle, powered by rechargable battery packs, making it emissions-free and environmentally friendly.
The Volocoptor seems to be almost everything we could expect from a vehicle of the future: it's easy to control and is said to be very safe and stable. Copter flies with 18 rotors, so even if some of them fail, the pilot will still be able to make a safe landing. It takes off and lands vertically, like a helicopter would, and once airborne, the pilot can direct it in any direction he likes. Unlike the helicopter, practically anyone can fly the volocoptor.
At the same time, e-Volo is working closely with the German government in order to make the vehicle legally categorized. Namely, e-Volo's future vehicle does not fit into any currently existing category in aviation. Once the aviation rules change, CEO Alexander Zosel says he would like to develop a much larger, commercial version of the Volocopter, which could carry up to 6 people and a hybrid with an extended flying time to about an hour extra.
So why does the current model of Volocoptor have 'almost' everyhting we could wish for? From the looks of it, the only real drawback at the moment is its predicted price. At 340,000 USD it stands ten times more expensive than a very solid, traditional family car and it can only offer two seats.