Manned Flight Finally Achieved!

If one rotor is good, fifty-four will be AWESOME.

Since the dawn of recorded history, man has dreamt of taking to the skies like a bird. As we know, the Wright Brothers made this dream a reality over a century ago.

Apparently these fellows didn’t get the memo.

What is it that drives an otherwise apparently sane person to pursue a project like this? The irony of course is that someone in possession of enough intelligence to engineer and fabricate these things should realize the absurdity of the pursuit. Yet the only one of these fellows who recognizes that absurdity is Colin Furze, in the final clip. He not only grasps the absurdity, he practically turns it into a new art form.

So here’s our roundup of DIY drones and homebrew hovercraft, listed in descending order of number of rotors used…

FIFTY-FOUR ROTORS

The Swarm

Once you hear it, you’ll realize this little baby is aptly named. We’d care less about its ability to actually take you anywhere, if it made fresh delicious honey.

EIGHTEEN ROTORS

Volocopter VC200

When you talk about a mechanical device in German, even an insane contraption like this presents an impression of engineering sensibility.

SIXTEEN ROTORS

Quadro UAS

At first we thought this was just a lawnmower gone wrong, but it turns out the kid developing it is quite serious. Let’s start an IndieGoGo to buy him some goggles.

Volocopter VC1

We have to give the VC200 above penalty points for actually using more motors than its predecessor. Also, points off for Timpani abuse in the soundtrack.

EIGHT ROTORS

Chinese Homemade Octocopter

This guy wins our Official Homecopter Award of 2016, for the sheer balls-to-the-wall MacGyver-ness of the contraption. We wouldn’t care if we could fly anywhere with it, we’d just be honored to hang out with this industrious dude.

Manned Multicopter 10

If you expand this video to full-screen and look at the edges of the craft, you might wonder if this guy is a special-effects wizard. We’d feel better about his overall well-being if he were merely a pathological hoaxster, as opposed to what appears to be going on here in terms of engineering and safety.

FOUR ROTORS

Hoverbike & Drone 3

We’re giving these blokes a pass, even though they only have a cute 1/3 scale version http://www.hover-bike.com/MA/product/drone-3/ of their proposed bike. Which you ALSO can’t buy. But we love watching the little toy man riding this one, and the teddy bear skydiver provides a high SQ (squee quotient).

THREE ROTORS

The Flike

If his engineering skills are on par with his soundtrack and Adobe Aftereffects skills, this man is in peril.

TWO ROTORS

Aero-X Hoverbike

If your lifelong dream has been to float across the desert a foot off the ground at 45 mph and turn around once, your dream is now a reality.

Colin Furze’s Homemade Hoverbike

We actually featured this one not too long ago. Colin may have to share our award with the Chinese fellow above. This one is truly in the spirit of the absurdity of creating a homebrew hoverbike. Plus, Colin tends to pick much better music for his clips.

ONE ROTOR

Home Built Personal Helicopter

Well, this is actually dual, counter-rotating rotors. We have to give it to this fellow for being ahead of the curve. The clip is from 2011 or earlier. Hang in there, mister! No, we mean literally.

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