Human octocopter flight -- the final frontier

Friday, October 21, 2011


Well, I assume that it would be a final flight if this lunatic ever got this contraption off the ground. I've posted about filming with model octocopters, the video above shows a Chinese fellow who's trying to build a full scale version he can fly. 

The words 'death trap' come to mind. He's attached 8 motorcycle engines with wooden propellers and coke bottles as gas tanks to a frame. The motors have to be hand started and he sits in a fabric basket in the middle and tries to control its flight. It throws out clouds of exhausts and bucks around a bit, but never really gets off the ground. 

I'm guessing that's a good thing -- off hand I can think of hundreds of ways that that thing could kill people while idling on the ground, the number of possible deaths would surely go up exponentially if it ever got airborne. Still, even if he deserves no credit for foresight, you have to give him credit for trying.

From Hack a Day's article Octocopter will someday kill somebody. From a commentor at that article:
Since no one of HAD clicks through or reads….the video above is “showing an earlier model with rings of fabric around four of the propellers meant to help direct the downward thrust as a steering mechanism.”

If you clicked the link and read you would find…..


“Local farmer Shu Mansheng starts the engines of his self-designed and homemade flying device before a test flight in front of his house in Dashu village on the outskirts of Wuhan, Hubei province September 21, 2011. The round steel flying device, which cost more than 20,000 yuan ($3,135), is the fifth model made by Shu, a junior middle school graduate. It measures around 5.5 meters (18 feet) in diameter, and is powered by eight motorcycle engines. Shu managed to hover for 10 seconds at about 1 metre (3.3 feet) above ground during a recent test flight.”

A lot of the rest of the comments at that article are a complete hoot. A one of my favorite exchanges:
nootropic says: I’m an optimist. This is the safest octocopter I’ve ever seen.

Patenomics says: Yeah I agree. Everyone is being a bit too motherly. I’m sure we’ve all almost lopped off one of our appendages in the name of science before.

Almost? says: I lost three fingers to an electric motorcycle built from chainsaws. This guy looks like he could mow down a crowd.

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