A while ago, I remember covering an inspirational story about a Chinese man who builds his own helicopter. I am just as inspired by Pascal Chretien, a French man who has created the first fully electric helicopter.
Mr. Chretien does not work for any big company, he is an electronics and aerospace engineer who practically built this craft single-handed. Considering that the big helicopter company Sikorsky has been trying to perfect their own electric helicopter known as the Firefly for years, Mr. Chretien’s accomplishment is quite impressive.
Yes, Chretien’s flew only three feet off the ground for two minutes and 10 seconds. Like most great feats of aviation, giant steps are often small ones. Think about the Wright Brothers’s 100-foot flight.
Chretien’s helicopter uses ultra light construction, as well as the coaxial design of two counter-rotating rotors. You will notice that there is no tail rotor like on traditional helicopters and has a simple weight shifting system which makes the aircraft hard to control. In fact, Chretien’s first flight was quite dangerous, but he finished his flight with power to spare. My Source does not say how much battery power was left.
I hope that Chretien perfects his process and we have greener helicopters. I also hope that Mr. Chretien is compensated for his hard work. I have often stated that it is the inventor and not the big company who truly innovates.