Monégasque aerial photography and drone show company McClic has successfully test-flown its MC One personal eVTOL, a simple but nice-looking coaxial octacopter with a pilot’s seat on top. Anyone can fly it, given about 10 minutes’ training.
That’s thanks to a drone-style flight control system that makes most of the tough stuff – balancing, staying in one place, adjusting against wind blasts – totally automatic.
The MC One weighs around 160 kg (353 lb), and carries a pilot weighing up to 90 kg (198 lb). A full battery charge gets you somewhere between 12-15 minutes’ endurance in the air, and full speed forward will tilt you to a rather hairy maximum angle of 55 degrees, up to a governed top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph).
There’s a modicum of redundancy thanks to the eight carbon propellers. There’s also a mini roll bar behind the pilot’s head, although it looks like it’d plow straight into the dirt if this thing went bum up, and the (helmet-free) pilot’s head would be the next thing to touch down, so I’m not exactly sure what it’s there for.
With manned flights undertaken in 2022, McClic is selling these things as premium toys for a rather pretty penny: €140,000 (US$150,000), according to Monaco Daily News.
That strikes us as way too much to be competitive in the nascent personal eVTOL market. I mean, the Jetson One weight a little over half as much, flies for up to 20 minutes on a charge, carries a slightly heavier pilot, does a claimed 102 km/h (63 mph) top speed, rocks a much more protective-looking spaceframe (to the extent that any of these things can really be protective in a bad crash), and it’s got a ballistic parachute built in as a last resort. The Jetson costs US$98,000 – although the 2023 production run is already sold out.
If you really must spend 150 grand, you’d be mad to go for a basic multicopter design like the MC One over a cruise-capable design like, say, Israel’s Air One, which offers a pop-top canopy, two seats, and the ability to transition from hover to fast, efficient winged flight, with top speeds up to 250 km/h (155 mph), up to an hour’s endurance, and a maximum range up to 177 km (110 miles). Also, it looks cooler.
Either way, more competition is always a good thing, and we assume McClic won’t have too much trouble finding deep pockets in Monaco to get a few of these built. You can check out some rather tame manned flight footage below.
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