The Volocopter uses 18 rotors.
A German firm has revealed a radical design for a personal helicopter it says could be the future of transport.
The Volocopter uses 18 rotors, which its inventors say make it 'safer simpler and cleaner' that current designs.
The firm behind it says its first manned flight is about to take place - and hopes it could change the way we travel, replacing both planes and cars.
The initial two-seat design uses battery packs, with a flight-time duration of only about 20 to 30 minutes.
It will be certified for sport flying, Alexander Zosel told Wired , and he plans to sell the copters for about $340,000.
He's also working to develop a hybrid power system that would extend flight time to over one hour.
'The Volocopter by e-volo is a completely novel, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) manned aircraft, which cannot be classified in any known category,' his firm says.
'The fact that it was conceived of as a purely electrically powered aircraft sets it apart from conventional aircraft.'
'Through the use of its many propellers, the Volocopter can take off and land vertically like a helicopter.
A considerable advantage, apart from the simple construction without complex mechanics, is the redundancy of drives, which enables the safe landing of the volocopter even if some drives fail.
'The aim is to change the mobility for a lot of people, not only for fun,' Zosel says.
'For transportation, and for getting work done.'
Lift-off! The inventors celebrated last month as it made its maiden flight. Since then they have raised £1m
Eco-friendly: It is the world's first two-seater helicopter to be powered purely by electricity, and much quieter
With its white spiderweb design and 18 rotors humming gently, it looks like it was plucked straight from a science fiction book.
This is the world's first electric two-seater helicopter, which could soon be flying over your house after online investors raised £1 million in just three days.
Instead of a traditional combustion engine, it uses an battery pack on the back of the aircraft to power the 18 rotors arranged on top.
Its inventors say it will be the most environmentally-friendly helicopter ever created.
They also claim it will be the world's safest because it is unlikely to crash if a rotor fails.
The design is so unusual that authorities in Germany, where it is being developed, have had to invent a new class of aircraft for it to get a license to fly.
When the Volocopter VC200 is completed, it will be able to fly at 6,500ft for up to an hour weighing a maximum of 450kg including crew and kit, about half the weight of a Nissan Micra.
After the successful test flight last month, inventors Thomas Senkel, Alexander Zosel and Stephan Wolf put out an online plea before Christmas for money from internet investors.
Their 'crowdfunding' attempt on the website seedmatch.de was so successful it smashed all records in Germany - earning them 500,000 Euros in just two and a half hours.
By the time they reached their total of 1.2 million Euros (£1m) in three days, nine hours and 52 minutes, they had been handed money by 750 different investors ranging from 250 to 10,000 Euros.
Engineering: The team in Karlsruhe has taken several years and millions of Euros to advance the design this far
Success! The inventors sit inside their creation, with one wearing a t-shirt bearing the craft's odd design
Coming to Britain? Anyone with a pilot's license can fly the craft, which is being primed for mass production
The idea has been several years in the planning and previously won a 2 million Euro (£1.7m) grant from Germany's federal ministry of economics and technology.
Test flights were conducted in Karlsruhe, Germany, including of a 16-rotor prototype last year with room for just one brave pilot.
Prototype: A test version of the helicopter last year had room for just one precariously-placed pilot
For the test version, the VC1, the pilot had to sit in the open air on top of a metal ball containing the batteries
Soaring success: The Volocopter's inventors celebrate after their prototype made its maiden flight
Weighing just 80kg including the batteries, it was so small that the helmet-wearing pilot had to sit in the open air between the blades strapped into a tiny chair.
Anyone with a private pilot's licence in Germany will be able to fly the revolutionary aircraft once it hits the mass market.
Its inventors claim it is also simpler to fly than a traditional helicopter, with just one joystick controlling almost every aspect of flight.
The project has been handed a provisional airworthiness certificate and its inventors hope it will get the sign-off from aviation authorities in the near future.
A statement by the firm said: 'The Volocopter is an absolutely novel aircraft which cannot be assigned to any existing aviation category.
'The greatest challenge after technical realisation is to be able to place such an aircraft on the market.'