There are some strange relatives in the helicopter family. Small quadrotor drones are the most popular recent addition, but there have been human-carrying cousins for decades. These aborted hoverbikes took the unusual step of putting an exposed pilot safely above the craft’s spinning blades. Not content with those flying human blenders, some human-carrying multicopters aim to sit the pilot almost level with the rotors. Check out this project man-carrying multi-copter from Quadro UAS:
Despite the low flight in the video, this project is hardly haphazard experimentation. The vehicle makers document the math behind the decision. The vehicle uses 16 rotors, arranged in clusters of four, powered by electric engines. A lightweight passenger (no heavier than 134 lbs) sits in the center. Autonomous drone flight software steers the craft. Like other human-lifting multirotors, it’s a work in progress, promising short flights for light people willing to overcome their fear of nearby spinning blades.