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The world's first two-seat electric helicopter took its initial test flight this week in Germany.
The emissions-free VC200 Volocopter hovered over its creators, the E-volo team, in a hangar in the City of Karlsruhe. The "multicopter" has 18 spinning blades and quietly soared to about 72 feet.
Following the test flight, the company described the vehicle as having a “rich and incredibly quiet sound, absolutely no noticeable vibrations in the flight, convincing structure with a great, new spring strut landing gear and an extremely calm rotor plane,“ according to a statement.
Next, E-volo will further develop the Volocopter in a two-year collaborative program with the German Federal Aviation Office and the German Ultralight Aircraft Association. That includes flying it over "uninhabited areas for days on end" in order to gauge the reliability of its safety devices and electrical steering.
The vehicle will go into production in the "coming years," according to the company.
“We believe that the development of the Volocopter holds significant promise to radically change short distance transportation,” said Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. “It has a long development path ahead, but if this innovative design reaches the commercial market it will dramatically change the way we move about the planet.”
Visit EcoWatch’s TRANSPORTATION page for more related news on this topic.
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Colorado senator and 2020 hopeful Michael Bennet introduced his plan to combat climate change Monday, in the first major policy rollout of his campaign. Bennet's plan calls for the establishment of a "Climate Bank," using $1 trillion in federal spending to "catalyze" $10 trillion in private spending for the U.S. to transition entirely to net-zero emissions by 2050.
When Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan in August 2018, its own estimates said the reduced regulations could lead to 1,400 early deaths a year from air pollution by 2030.
Now, the EPA wants to change the way it calculates the risks posed by particulate matter pollution, using a model that would lower the death toll from the new plan, The New York Times reported Monday. Five current or former EPA officials familiar with the plan told The Times that the new method would assume there is no significant health gain by lowering air pollution levels below the legal limit. However, many public health experts say that there is no safe level of particulate matter exposure, which has long been linked to heart and lung disease.
By Andrea Germanos
Animal welfare advocates are praising soon-to-be introduced legislation in the U.S. that would ban the use of wild animals in traveling circuses.
By Tara Lohan
It's been the wettest 12 months on record in the continental United States. Parts of the High Plains and Midwest are still reeling from deadly, destructive and expensive spring floods — some of which have lasted for three months.
Mounting bills from natural disasters like these have prompted renewed calls to reform the National Flood Insurance Program, which is managed by Federal Emergency Management Agency and is now $20 billion in debt.