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The first manned flight of an 18-rotor multi-copter proved to be a soaring success during testing in Germany. The electric Volocopter V200, which is the brainchild of German firm E-volo, carried pilot Alexander Zosel into the air for a full three minutes. The company hopes that the VC200 could be used as an emission-free taxi service in the future. It received the ‘permit-to-fly’ as an ultralight aircraft from German aviation authorities in February 2016.

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“The machine was absolutely reliable, there were no vibrations, it was tremendous. Anyway, the first flight was simply unbelievable,” Alexander Zosel, E-volo managing director, said after landing.

The Volocopter is made of a lightweight, fiber composite material. It is operated one-handed with a joystick and it runs on all-electric motors. Its rotors are powered by nine independent batteries. When hovering, the VC200 requires about 45kWs.