World’s first manned aerobatic drone shown pulling loops and rolls

This racy-looking 12-rotor coaxial multicopter has been filmed in Croatia pulling extreme rolls and loops, and carrying a human on board. Not at the same time, mind you, but still, to see a drone of this size pulling stunts like this is astonishing.

Built by Drone Champions AG, in order to promote its Drone Champions League video game, this is a full-sized, full carbon airframe with six arms extending outwards from an aerodynamically faired chassis, each with a pair of coaxial rotors mounted at the ends. A central seat can carry a passenger – not a pilot, as this drone is built to be flown from the ground by trained drone racing pilots over remote control.

The team took the “Big Drone,” as it’s called, to Vrsar, in Croatia, to put it through some extreme maneuvers, and a Red Bull detachment followed to film and photograph the event. With a dummy passenger on board, the team performed a bunch of wild aerobatic maneuvers, including extravagant rolls and loops, the likes of which we’ve never seen in a multicopter this large.

Afterwards, it was time to put Drone Champions founder Herbert Weirather on board, for a shorter, safer and much more sedate hover low to the ground. That’s probably for the best. Safety issues aside, those loops and rolls look like they’d be a stomach-churning experience from the passenger seat.

“We have developed and built the first-ever manned aerobatic drone with the vision to create a brand-new future racing experience and to recruit drone pilots through DCL – The Game,” says Drone Champions founder and CEO, Herbert Weirather. “Everyone should have the opportunity to fly, and DCL – The Game provides a starting point.”

There’s no word as yet on whether the team plans to do manned aerobatic flights, and we suspect it’ll remain that way for a while. But it’s clear the machines can do it, leaving just the safety considerations to be taken care of.


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