A fisherman has taken flight at a Victorian reservoir after two years of work, a shed that almost burned to the ground and a prototype that got wrapped around a tree.
A group of friends have watched as stuntman Sam Foreman was lifted off the ground by a drone, cast a line at the Upper Coliban Reservoir and relaxed with a beer.
The custom-made drone took enthusiasts from the Kyneton and Sunbury area two years to build and test, Tim French said.
"You see a lot of videos on the net about flying cars ... we had a bit of experience with drones so we wanted to see what we could do," he said.
Two years of testing culminated recently in an airborne fisherman.
It took a lot of work experimenting with battery and motor sizes to pull off the flight.
"A battery did explode and almost burnt the garage down at one stage," he said.
"Flying stability was the main challenge. In the video you can see the drone is really stable, but in the first test runs it was something you did not want to go near."
The drone needs 25 batteries and 12 rotor blades to lift a maximum 90kgs, Mr French said. It can fly for eight minutes with a full load.
"We've calculated everything so it can go at 100km an hour at full speed," he said.
As to why someone would need a drone that could carry someone that fast, Mr French said it was designed with one thing in mind. Water skiing.
The group is yet to decide whether to test the craft out with a ski run, though Mr French said. Their video, filmed several weekends ago, was to prove the drone had the thrust to lift Mr Foreman, who weighs 78kg.
The group currently has no plans to sell any man-carrying drones.
"It's a hobby of ours, rather than commercial invention," Mr French said.
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