|Volantis as it stands on the ground.|
|Role||Electric-powered hover vehicle|
|National origin||United States|
|Status||In service (2013)|
|Primary user||Lady Gaga|
Design and development
Volantis is a remote-piloted hover vehicle capable of carrying a single passenger. It was designed by the UK based design agency Studio XO and constructed by TechHaus, the Haus of Gaga's technology branch, over a period of two years.
Volantis features a central column to which the passenger is clamped by a safety harness, in turn covered by a white plastic "dress". The column also houses the batteries and other equipment.
Six lifting fan units are mounted on booms in a hexagonal formation radiating from the top of the column, giving the device the ability to hover three feet above the ground. Each fan unit comprises a pair of electric motors, one driving a carbon-fibre composite rotor above and the other driving a similar rotor below. A circular duct surrounds both rotors. The batteries and associated control and radio link systems are housed in a central hub at the top of the column, in order to minimise the weight of copper used for the electrical power cabling. Battery capacity is approximately 250 Ah.
The passenger stands on the flat base of the central column and has no flight controls, instead a radio link allows a remote operator to pilot the craft.
At her ArtRave event in 2013, inside a building at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Gaga hosted a press conference, where she introduced Volantis as "the world's first flying dress". It has been described by Entertainment Weekly as a "hover dress". At the event, Volantis took off and hovered 70 inches above the stage.
Gaga promoted the dress by tweeting earlier in the day, "At 6pm EST today we will beta test VOLANTIS with the world. We invite you into our creative process during her initial stages of lift off." For the demonstration, she transitioned from a white astronaut suit down to black tights and a black body wrap. Gaga quipped that the dress was "maybe a small step for Volantis... but a big-time step" for her.
- Crew: none
- Capacity: one passenger
- Powerplant: 12 × electric motors powered by 250 Ah batteries and mounted two motors and rotors coaxially per duct unit
- Service ceiling: 3 ft (1 m)
- Remote piloting control equipment
- Dugdale, Addy (2013-11-11). "Lady Gaga Unveils "Volantis," A Flying Dress | Fast Company | Business + Innovation". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Shenton, Zoe (November 11, 2013). "Lady Gaga debuts flying dress called Volantis at Artpop album launch party". Daily Mirror (London, United Kingdom). Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Zolfagharifard, E (November 11, 2013). "How the Gaga-copter works". Daily Mail (Dmg media). Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- Hampp, Andew; Lipshutz, Jason (November 11, 2013). "Lady Gaga's artRAVE Party: 'ARTPOP' Performance, Flying Dress & Costumes Galore". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved December 3, 2013.
- Hampp, Andew (November 10, 2013). "Lady Gaga Unveils 'Flying Dress' Volantis". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- Anderson, Kyle (November 11, 2013). "Lady Gaga wears a hover dress, performs 'ARTPOP' songs at Brooklyn artRAVE". Entertainment Weekly (Time Warner). Retrieved December 4, 2013.