April 2010 I First idea
The first quadrocopters that can be controlled very easily appear on the market as toys. The subsequent founders are fascinated by this and begin to reflect on how a human could be rendered airborne using this technology.
October 2010 I Basic research
The calculations of the past few months reveal that it is indeed possible to lift the weight of a human into the air through in-house developments and an increase in the efficiency of the technologies in the market. The planning of the logistics for the specific implementation will follow.
May 2011 I The first prototypes are produced
Stephan Wolf programs the first flight control, Thomas Senkel develops the necessary electrical motors and designs the first prototypes and Alexander Zosel prepares the media presentation of the project. Even in this early phase the safety aspects are the key considerations in all the development decisions of the Volocopter's three inventors.
Oktober 2011 I Manned first flight writes aviation history
The three Volocopter inventors succeed in performing the world’s first manned flight with an electric multicopter. The flight of Thomas Senkel with the VC1 lasts precisely 90 seconds.
The video of the flight achieves 1 million clicks on YouTube within a few days. The global media response overwhelms the team of inventors but already provides an indication of the economic potential of the Volocopter. Inquiries and application ideas from all round the world reaffirm the e-volo team in its undertaking to develop an aircraft that is eligible for approval. Following the flight the decision is made to decommission the VC1 and to merely use it as an exhibit.
February 2012 I The invention of the Volocopter
Stephan Wolf, Thomas Senkel and Alexander Zosel file an application for the first industrial property rights at the patent office in the course of the invention of the Volocopter. Additional national and international industrial property rights are drafted and submitted in the next few months.
April 2012 I Lindbergh innovation prize
e-volo wins the Lindbergh Innovation Prize in 2012. The aviation prizes of the Charles-Lindbergh Foundation are awarded to acknowledge innovations in environmentally-friendly aviation and to promote significant advances in the aviation field. "We believe that the development of the Volocopter promises significant prospects of radically altering local transport" stated Erik Lindberg, grandson of Charles Lindberg, at the prize award ceremony. “It has a long path of development before it but if this innovative concept reaches the commercial market it will dramatically alter the manner in which we move around the planet.”
July 2012 I Oshkosh AirVenture in the USA
At the invitation of the EAA the VC2 prototype is presented at the Oshkosh AirVenture in the USA. The NASA innovation manager Mark Moore as well the head of development of the US Air Force, Dr. Mark Maybury will report there in their lectures on the future of aviation about the invention of the Volocopter.
August 2012 I Federal government subsidy for the project costs of € 2 million
As the “Volocopter” association research project the German Federal Ministry of Transport makes an undertaking to provide a subsidy of € 2 million for the project costs to construct a 2-seater helicopter within three years.
Two research institutions and four companies are involved in this project: The Institute for Aerodynamics and Gas Dynamics in Stuttgart, the Institute for Applied Research in Karlsruhe, Blank Skycontrol, DG Flugzeugbau, Helix and e-volo.
November 2015 I Successful test flight program
The last system components of the VC200 are put into operation. The following technical milestones haven been “flown through”.
- Put the automatic height and position adjustment technology in operation in an optimized state. The Volocopter stays in the air as if it has been “pegged up” there if you release your hands from the controls.
- The VC 2000 is flown for the simulation of pilot weights with an additional load of 120 kg.
- The joystick is put into operation. The whole team is extremely impressed at how simply and intuitively the VC200 can be piloted. The claim of e-volo’s marketing department that flying the Volocopter will be child’s play was impressively demonstrated.