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US here, if it makes a difference (w.r.t. FAA regulation, etc.).

There's a new upcoming class of aerial vehicles, similar to drones, however they are gigantic and they are manned -- that is, manned (piloted) quadcopters or octocopters like these ones.

I'm wondering what technical and/or legal classification(s) these types of vehicles would be considered to be. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

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From 14 CFR 1.1:

Helicopter means a rotorcraft that, for its horizontal motion, depends principally on its engine-driven rotors.

Rotorcraft means a heavier-than-air aircraft that depends principally for its support in flight on the lift generated by one or more rotors.

Aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.

A manned quad- or octocopter seems to fit the definition for “helicopter”, assuming you mean the kind that have no fixed wing.

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow, that's going to have to change. That definition seems totally inappropriate-- $\endgroup$ – quiet flyer Nov 28 '20 at 8:45
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, right? I don't see how those things **require**/necessitate the same type of regulation as a full bore helicopter.... $\endgroup$ – hotmeatballsoup Nov 28 '20 at 14:54

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