I really love the inventors spirit with projects like this. I wish I had more time for fun things like this.
Originally engineer Alex Borg 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 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.
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.