Aircraft

First manned flight for Flike personal tricopter

First manned flight for Flike ...
The Flike concept demonstrator in a controlled flight in Hungary
The Flike concept demonstrator in a controlled flight in Hungary
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Computer rendering of a possible commercial version of the Flike
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Computer rendering of a possible commercial version of the Flike
Computer rendering of a possible commercial version of the Flike
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Computer rendering of a possible commercial version of the Flike
Computer rendering of a possible commercial version of the Flike
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Computer rendering of a possible commercial version of the Flike
The Flike on its first manned flight in March
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The Flike on its first manned flight in March
The Flike concept demonstrator in a controlled flight in Hungary
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The Flike concept demonstrator in a controlled flight in Hungary

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 Flike on its first manned flight in March
The Flike on its first manned flight in March

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.

Source: Flike

Flike First Manned Flight

FLIKE Controlled Flight

26 comments
quax
This shouldn't have been a test with an actual pilot. One critical failure and he would have ended up like a frog going through a fan.
Deres
The main safety question is the immediate stability in case of a rotor or motor brutal failure (or double ones). The risk is that in most scenario the tricopter will brutally return itself.
Bernd Kohler
Deres, you mean instability or better crash which is unavoidable in a tri copter configuration when one of the drives fail. Putting the pilot so high makes the craft by design instable. Any craft which fly and is not auto stable is dangerous anyway. To relay on artificial stability is not a good idea to say it polite. Bernd
Readout Noise
Sitting in the same plane as 6 high speed rotors...with nothing between you and them...ouch! That motorcycle helmet is not going to do much for your protection. Looks like the most dangerous personal vehicle ever.
JosMoor
The most worrying thing for me is the fact the guy on it is a total passenger. The guy with the remote is not put in the frame. It could also be terrifying if you get a GPS glitch in position hold which can happen, causing the craft to want to jump to a new location at high speed.
DLK811
It seems to me that for stability and safety the pilot should be cradled in a small seat mounted inside the tripod landing skids where his weight is below the rotors and his body inside a shield of some sort.
Bob
Almost everyone keeps avoiding the fact that small diameter rotors are very inefficient even in this double blade setup. If they put the pilot below the rotors and increased their diameter this would be a much more efficient and stable machine. Maybe not quite as maneuverable but definitely safer. I really don't see any sane person wanting to do quick flips on a practical manned version.
BundyGil
I wouldn't sit on that tricopter without shrouded propellers. Too easy to end up as mincemeat.
Jay Finke
Hats off to that guy, that has the balls to fly that contraption !
ezeflyer
Congratulations. Make it safe and you will be at the cutting edge of piloted multicopter design.