Grafschaft, Rhineland-Plantine, Germany
Thomas Senkel and Michael Kügelgen (pilot and engineer) founded eMagic Aircraft company to manufacture and produce electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft for urban air mobility (UAM). (Thomas Senkel is the designer and pilot of the first manned multicopter in Germany under the company e-volo GmbH. The company e-volo was eventually rebranded as Volocopter and Senkel left Volocopter in 2016.) eMagic Aircraft has financed the demonstrator aircraft using their own money. eMagic is currently seeking investors to develop a serial production aircraft.
The company is now working on a new tandem wing eVTOL proof-of-concept demonstrator, called eMagic One, which was recently flown in a flight demonstration. Senkel is in charge of the electric drive train of the aircraft, Kügelgen worked on the airframe of the eVTOL and Moritz Pfletschinger is in charge of software development and flight controller optimization. The company is supported by a network of friends including Matthias Strieker (Silence Aircraft GmbH), Thomas Strieker (Leviora Leichtbaumanufaktur), Richard Krüger-Sprengel (Helix Carbon GmbH), Hans-Joachim Droste (Droste Ingenieure GmbH) and more.
Senkel has stated in several news articles that he's never been satisfied with the range of multicopters which is why he wanted to design an original eVTOL passenger aircraft that had a useful range. He has also stated that a piloted air taxi which only holds two passengers seems to be a niche market but it's also true that most regular ground taxi rides take one passenger at a time. Senkel has stated their winged VTOL aircraft will have a range five times longer than a multicopter eVTOL passenger aircraft.
Kügelgen founded MK Technology in Germany in 1997 and is an accomplished rapid prototyping and production company. Kügelgen is a mechanical engineer and has been pilot for 45 years and is certified to fly in fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. He has developed numerous crewed and uncrewed flight systems. He is the inventor of the sub-scale eMagic prototypes, the full-scale Copter and the full-scale eMagic One passenger eVTOL demonstrator, all of which have been aerodynamically successful and flight worthy.
First Flight Timeline:
- 3 April 2019: 26.3%-scale eMagic One remote-controlled first flight (eMagic Aircraft calls it 1/3.8-scale)
- 10 May 2019: 26.3%-scale eMagic Copter remote-controlled first flight (eMagic Aircraft calls it 1/3.8-scale)
- 28 May 2019: 26.3%-scale eMagic One first transition flight (eMagic Aircraft calls it 1/3.8-scale)
- 4 March 2020: 1/2-scale eMagic One remote-controlled first flight
- 30 July 2020: Full-scale eMagic Copter remote-controlled first hover flight
- 21 May 2021: Full-scale Magic One crewed first roll test
- 31 May 2021: Full-scale eMagic One crewed maiden flight
- 24 October 2021: Full-scale eMagic Copter crewed first hover flight
- 5 November 2021: Full-scale eMagic One uncrewed first hover flight
- Spring 2022: Full-scale eMagic One crewed first hover with transition flights
Copter is a full-scale one passenger eVTOL opened-framed aircraft demonstrator which holds one test pilot. The aircraft can be flown by remote control or by a test pilot. The demonstrator is a square-shaped aircraft which has eight propellers, eight electric motors, one plastic seat with seat belt and has quadricycle fixed wheeled landing gear. From pictures alone, it appears there are two joy sticks to control the aircraft.
The purpose in making a truss structure like this is that it is a very strong and robust design. The aircraft can easily be folded for storage due to its guide wires. The ability to fold and unfold the testbed is very practicable for the inventors because it is easy to move the aircraft in smaller spaces (such as moving the aircraft through the garage door of the workshop), to store the aircraft and if needed, to store the aircraft in a trailer during ground transportation.
Along the length of the aircraft are three length-wise structures, two outside beams which hold the propellers and electric motors, and a middle fuselage truss structure with longerons and struts. Two perpendicular structures, to the middle fuselage, form the remainder of the square-shaped structure and has longerons, struts and vertical metal web members. Guidewires are attached throughout the structure for strengthening purposes. Clicking the middle picture below provides and excellent photo of the entire truss structure of the testbed multicopter aircraft.
eMagic Aircraft has made many flights with uncrewed sub-scaled prototypes of the aircraft and the full-scale Copter multicopter for the last several years. The company uses the data from the sub-scale and full-scale prototypes to help develop the software and hardware and to validate the flight worthiness of the aircraft. All the test flights were successful according to the company.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger multicopter testbed
- Piloting: 1 test pilot
- Cruise speed: Uknown
- Range: Uknown
- Flight Time: Uknown
- Propellers: 8 propellers
- Electric Motors: 8 electric motors
- Power source: Battery packs
- Fuselage: Metal open beam and truss structure
- Landing gear: Quadcycle fixed wheeled landing gear
- Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft.
- eMagic Aircraft website
- MK Technology GmbH website
- Video: 10 Years: Worlds First Manned Multicopter (Unrevealed Footage), Forschungsbuero, Oct. 27, 2021
- Video: eMagic Copter 2021, Forschungsbuero, Oct. 28, 2021
- Article: eVTOL pioneer Thomas Senkel unveils tandem-wing air taxi prototype, New Atlas, Nov. 16, 2021
- Video: eMagic One - An eVTOL that really works, Forschungsbuero, Nov. 16, 2021
- Article: A New Tandem-Winged eVTOL Prototype Has Five Times the Range of Rivals, Interesting Engineering, Nov. 17, 2021
- Article: First man ever to fly a manned e-multicopter presents new eVTOL concept that really works, Autoevolution, Nov. 17, 2021
- Article: Thomas Senkel unveils tandem-wing air taxi prototype, Air Med and Rescue, Nov. 19, 2021
- Article: eMagic takes the wraps off its proof of concept eVTOL, eVTOL.com, Nov. 24, 2021
- Article: eMagic One Silently Comes Out of Stealth, Vertiflite, Jan/Dec 2022