First manned flight for Flike personal tricopter
Despite always generating plenty of interest, getting a personal flight vehicle off theground can be a huge undertaking – just ask Malloy Aeronautics, which has beenforced to scale its Hoverbike down, selling a one-third-scale drone to raisefunds to continue development of the larger, manned Hoverbike. But a Hungarianteam is looking onwards and upwards afterhaving achieved the first manned flight of its Flike tricopter conceptdemonstrator.
In under a year, the team of flightenthusiasts at Bay Zoltan Nonprofit Ltd., a state-owned applied researchinstitute in Hungary, has taken the concept of a personal flight tricopter fromthe drawing board to its first manned flight at Miskolc Airfield in northeastHungary on March 7.
On the manned flight, the Flike (think fly-bike) conceptdemonstrator had a takeoff weight of 210 kg (463 lb) and only made it off theground for a few seconds, but took off and landed safely. In a subsequentmanned test flight, the Flike fly meters off the ground, and was able todemonstrate hovering and maneuvering capabilities while compensating for windin a controlled flight lasting one and a half minutes.
The aircraft demonstrator features a Y6 layout, with sixrotors paired in a coaxial arrangement that are directly driven by individualelectric disc motors. These are powered by lithium polymer batteries, which theteam says allow for around 15 to 20 minutes of hover flight or 30 to 40 minutesof cruise flight.
Control is provided by altering therotation speed of the individual rotors, allowing the Flike to perform in theair like a conventional helicopter, including the ability to hover, roll, bank,drift, yaw, climb, turn, sidle and dive. The team also hints at other flightcapabilities that are "yet to be named".
Thanks to its flight management computerthat takes care of the craft's stability, lateral position and altitude, thedevelopment team claims flying the Flike will be as easy as riding a bike. They alsoclaim the Flike is able to provide emergency lift to prevent a crash if one ofthe electric motors fails.
Having successfully completed the firstflight, the team now plans to build a second prototype that would boast a similar design and features to that envisioned for the planned commercial model. And commercialization is the ultimate goal, with the team aiming tospin off into a startup company for which it is actively seekinginvestors.
Videos of the first flight and subsequentcontrolled flight can be viewed below.