A team of Norwegian students and researchers is seeking permission to use their record-breaking megacopter to carry a person, potentially rivalling the likes of Hoverbike and Snowstorm. Jim Drury reports.
This was the moment Oslo drone makers broke a Guinness World Record. Their megacopter lifted a record payload last October, though not without difficulty. SOUNDBITE (English) KINE GJERSTAD EIDE, MEGACOPTER TEAM, UNIVERSITY OF OSLO, SAYING: "We had to try three times and then the third try we made it. We flew for about 37 seconds with a payload of 61 kilos and the whole 37 seconds we had to be one metre above the ground." The drone was made from off-the shelf components. SOUNDBITE (English) HENNING PEDERSEN, MEGACOPTER CO-PILOT, MAKEADRONE, SAYING: "It's 48 motors, 48 propellers, and those motors are grouped in eight groups and every group there are six motors and those motors are exactly the same speed. Then we have a flight controller with eight outputs and those eight outputs are controlled individually. So the flight controller thinks it only has eight motors; and then we have 24 batteries, so each of those eight collections have three batteries each that they share." Now the team wants permission to test fly with a human passenger. SOUNDBITE (English) KRISTER BORGE, MEGACOPTER TEAM, UNIVERSITY OF OSLO, SAYING: "The technology exists today so it's a question of time before the authorities say this is the future, and say yes." The team hopes to break its payload record this summer, having lifted 78 kilograms in testing....and insist a world of passenger-carrying drones is no flight of fancy.