Aircraft

Swedish flying carpet goes electric

Swedish flying carpet goes ele...
Alex Borg of AmazingDIYProjects in his home-built multirotor chAIR
Alex Borg of AmazingDIYProjects in his home-built multirotor chAIR
View 3 Images
Alex Borg of AmazingDIYProjects in his home-built multirotor chAIR
1/3
Alex Borg of AmazingDIYProjects in his home-built multirotor chAIR
The chAIR feature four banks of 19 rotors powered by electric motors and juiced by 35 kg of LiPo batteries
2/3
The chAIR feature four banks of 19 rotors powered by electric motors and juiced by 35 kg of LiPo batteries
Alex Borg in his electric VTOL having some fun in the forest
3/3
Alex Borg in his electric VTOL having some fun in the forest

Around this time last year, we featured a crazy Swedish multirotor flying machine invented and flown by engineer Alex Borg from AmazingDIYProjects. At that time, the engineer was lifted off the ground by eight petrol-powered rotors, but earlier this year he abandoned the combustion engines in favor of electric motors. Lots of electric motors. And now his huge chAIR manned VTOL has taken off and lifted him skyward.

After spectacularly crashing his eight rotor, petrol-powered flying chair late last year, Borg chose to go electric for version 3. His new chAIR craft is a little reminiscent of the Kitty Hawk Flyer, but with more rotors whizzing around – 76 of them to be precise.

The Elite 5010 274 kV motors that drive those rotors are juiced by 80 Multistar 4S 5.2 Ah LiPo batteries weighing in at 35 kg. The chAIR is actually made up of four multirotor systems contained within large metal tube hoops with a tube grid pattern inside each hoop to mount the motors, all attached to a single frame that's home to Borg's comfy chair. Kevlar rope keeps the hoops from riding above the horizontal and attacking the pilot.

Alex Borg in his electric VTOL having some fun in the forest
Alex Borg in his electric VTOL having some fun in the forest

Early last month, Borg had undertaken all unmanned tests, and it was time to get in the hotseat. Total flying time for the first run was 8 minutes, which drained just over half of the battery - the chAIR was designed to deliver a good 12 minutes in the air. As you can see and hear in the video below of Borg having some fun in the forest last week, this thing is seriously noisy.

As with last year's flight, Borg's personal safety equipment is scarily minimal – seatbelt, gloves, earplugs and goggles, and that's about it.

The approximate cost of build? US$10,000 ! Not exactly cheap, and not a hugely practical means of getting from A to B. But who cares? This flyer looks like a whole lot of fun.

Source: AmazingDIYProjects

chAIR -Manned drone Episode 24 -Playtime! Electric VTOL Axel Borg

7 comments
Nik
Next step, harness about 10,000 hornets, and then dispense with the batteries?
ljaques
I understand the need for earplugs. Cool but totally impractical. He got a bit excited there at the end.
Vernon Miles Kerr
With so little practice time under his belt, he is a kick-ass good pilot. Very skillfully done!
zackzelmo
Fantastic project. At last a hovercraft that is attainable for the everyday "aircycle" men. Impractical you say? Geez. They said the same about: automobiles, computers, police radio, the telephone. We are witnessing the dawning of a new platform for personal transportation. The technology is here NOW. Upon Orville and Wilbur (and others) setting the stage for human flight many inventive and adventure seeking men followed; the progress that followed was phenomenal. The same can be said for the pioneers of motorcycles, and of automobiles. A glorious time is coming for personal air transport!
windykites
Very impressive. A lot of the noise was wind on the microphone. Would it be possible to have fewer motors, and have the props driven by drive shafts, to save weight? Is ground effect being used, or can it fly higher. Also, I wondered why he chose to fly amongst trees, from the safety point of view.
habakak
Maybe this is a 'KittyHawk' type moment. So yeah, for us everyday men on the street it will be 30 to 40 years (optimistically) to practically use one of these new-fangled-whatchamacallits. From a practical stand-point, this will not go-mainstream until autonomous flying is a reality (and that can be soon) and until the necessary infrastructure has been built. These things won't be big space-savers, actually, they will require a lot MORE than our current transportation model does. Imagine going shopping in one of these. You might have to queue up for 30 minutes for landing at the mall. Or land in a 200-story 'parking' tower and travel 15 minutes from there to enter your destination. Hardly practical. People watch too much Star Wars.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really neat. Perhaps it could lead to some really cool person carrying electric copters?