Remember when they first started strapping heavy, professional movie cameras and gimbals to drones, and how we were all very impressed? “Surely we’ve reached the physical limits of this technology!” we said. As it turns out, we weren’t even close. Quadcopters can now lift entire people, and the components are affordable enough that hobbyists can buy them. Over on the YouTube channel AmazingDIYProjects, they’ve proven that by building a flying chair to ride in.
Before we go any further, I need to give you a disclaimer: don’t do this! You will likely kill yourself, or at least get arrested for witchcraft. We’re talking about a homemade flying machine with far less inherent stability than an airplane, and it’s dangerous. Now that we’ve agreed you won’t try to build your own manned multirotor, lets talk about how AmazingDIYProjects built their own manned multirotor!
At first glance, it looks like a quadcopter, as there are four rotor guards arranged around the chair. In actuality, each of those guards is filled with 19 relatively small 274Kv motors, rotors, and Afro 20A ESC (electronics speed control) modules. That yields a total of 76 of each to lift the entire aircraft. Power is provided by 80 Multistar 4S 5.2aH LiPo battery packs, which weigh 35kg and have a total capacity of 416aH.
There are five KK2.1 flight controllers commanding those ESCs, which are, in turn, controlled by five Turnigy TGY-i6S Digital Proportional Radio Control Systems. Instead of using a regular radio transmitter, AmazingDIYProjects built a custom set of flight controls. The total cost ended up being about $10,000 USD, but that’s pretty cheap considering this is an aircraft capable of carrying a grown man for at least 10 minutes of flight.