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Personal Helicopters Might Become a Reality in Future

MyCopter

Image credit: myCopter.10

One day morning, after breakfast, you take off with the mini-helicopter in your backyard to the skies without a pilot’s license, skipping the busy town center and arriving at your office. It is perhaps no longer a dream, a reality thanks to the project called myCopter.

Firstly conjured in 2007 by Heinrich H. Bülthoff of the Mac Planck Institute in Germany, this novel idea came up in response to the call of the European Union in finding new approaches for improvement of the transport systems in Europe.

At present six institutions in Europe are working together on the project at its initial stage, in which the experimental platforms have been established and designing certain aspects of the control system nearly completed.

In face of more serious congestion problems in coming years, this project is motivated to create a personal air transport system (PATS), which is thought to be both environmentally friendly and financially practical.

Being flied at low altitude, such vehicles would be designed to be operated by ordinary people who have no flying experience before. In addition, there is no need for ground-based air traffic control, because they fly so low that they would not interfere with current air traffic regimens

In description of his test with a simulator at Liverpool University’s Center for Engineering Dynamics, Danny Hakim, a New York Times journalist, said that he did not know how to fly before, but he did take off quite easily from an imitated field surrounded by six houses in the English countryside. After that, he followed a virtual aerial highway to fly over a series of purple squares in the simulated skyline.

Working closely with former military test pilots, the researchers at this institution are intended to develop a system easy to be operated by people without prior flying experience. Therefore they are now using simulators to test the practical way in which people could easily control the virtual vehicle.

There is still a long way to go before MyCopter could be put into actual operation, because a kind of system should be created so as to prevent people from crashing into each other and build up necessary infrastructure for the realization of the project.

It is hoped that the research team might soon get into the second phase of the project, which would allow it to collaborate with private companies for the potential designs of such helicopters

Source: New York Times & myCopter

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