Experimental design carries passenger in short test flight


Engineer Thorstin Crijns is trying to prove a point. He wants to demonstrate to the world that drones could, one day, transport people, without the need for a pilot. With a background in designing firmware, Crijns had to branch out into different disciplines to develop his working prototype.

Through a combination of maths and mechanics Crijns worked out the static thrust requirements, figuring out how much power he’d need to carry the weight of a frame and passenger straight up. Once the numbers looked right he tested the theory on a small scale, before moving on to the details of the frame design.

Simulations, experimentation and engineering know how eventually lead to a full size prototype that was ready to fly. It’s a bare bones drone controlled by a MultiWii Autopilot system, but in a documented test flight it manages to lift its creator into a brief but stable hover for a few seconds. While it’s not ready to replace the car just yet it may be assign of things to come.