Zombie Horde Holds No Terror for the Prepared

Here is another multi-copter meant to be marketed to the public. Named the “Hexa” copter, it is meant as a rental, probably for tourist markets. Each rotor has its own motor — and its own battery! It is capable of flying with up to six of the rotors down. The device also has an emergency parachute in case of total failure — a rare occurrence. It is capable of landing on land or on water.

Only a Toy in Current Form

Each battery only provides 10 to 15 minutes of flight time. In this form the device is just a gimmick to provide a brief “adventure” flying experience for dilettantes. To make the copter a true survival vehicle, it would need the addition of a small internal combustion engine for in-flight battery charging, or an onboard fuel cell stack for the same purpose.

The 18 battery configuration provides redundancy, but it complicates the wiring configuration when the copter takes that necessary step from being an “adventure toy” to being a serious man’s escape vehicle from the zombie horde.

As the Hexa will be flying under the ultralight classification (meaning it requires no certification or pilot’s license), you’ll be limited to flying under 700 feet, or 1200 feet in some locations, and not over any populated areas. Maximum speed for ultralights is 55 knots, or about 63 mph/101 km/h in terms of ground speed, and Chasen says if the Hexa turns out to be capable of going faster than that, it’ll be electronically restricted from doing so. The aircraft will also be geofenced to a permitted flying area.

… The aircraft should be fine for any pilot over 18, under around 250 lbs (113 kg) and shorter than around 6 foot 7 (200 cm). It could carry heavier pilots, says Chasen, but “we’re doing a tradeoff between weight and flight time there, we don’t want people to have too short a flight time, and it does trail off quite quickly with additional weight.”

The price? “We’re going to charge around about the same price as for other similar adventure-type activities, like skydiving, hang gliding, those sorts of things,” says Chasen. “It’s gonna be in the area of US$150 to $250.” __ https://newatlas.com/lift-aircraft-manned-multirotor-drone-experience/57605/

The Hexa is a drone with limited onboard piloting capabilities. In current form, it is an adventure toy. But any self-respecting purchaser of the copter will do some extensive hacking to enable full pilot control.

Unlike a helicopter, which is complex and finicky to fly, the 432-lb (196-kilo) Hexa really is just like a big drone with a seat in it; a flight controller and a raft of sensors do most of the flying for you. It can take off and land at the touch of a button, and if a pilot lets go of the stick, it will hover in a GPS-locked position and stable altitude. If a pilot really freaks out or starts causing trouble, ground staff can take over with hand controllers and bring them back down. __ https://newatlas.com/lift-aircraft-manned-multirotor-drone-experience/57605/

The safety and reliability of the Hexa is appealing, since almost anyone can fly it safely with only minimal training. But the limited flight time and range will have to be modified for future models — or self-modified by owner-pilots.

The Multi-Rotor Drone Concept Has Potential

Multiple rotors increase complexity in design, but if done right they can reduce the complexity of piloting the craft and improve safety. Clever designers have barely begun tweaking the specs on human-carrying multi-rotor drones. But the ultimate payoff from hitting on the magic design for the middle class market should be immense. Banks and insurance companies may be slow to welcome these new flyers, which only creates new opportunities for those willing to take on risk.

Independence of movement is a heady feeling. Tomorrow’s flyers can escape not only zombies, but the bottlenecks of highways, bridges, and tunnels. And the bumper to bumper commutes.

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