Tensor 600X Technology Demonstrator
Company founder and CEO Christoph Fraundorfer has been working on an advanced gyrocopter for the last 10 years with over 20,000 labor hours using modern computational fluid dynamics analysis to optimize the rotor head and airframe.
Their work has paid-off with the company unveiling their full-scale Tensor 600X two (2) seat technology demonstrator gyrocopter on 24 May 2019 at Donauwörth-Genderkingen Airport in Germany. The company focused on component flight testing taking place before the unveiling of the aircraft so the technology demonstrator would look very close to the production aircraft. They are also responsible for the development of the Tensor, a six seat gyrocopter designed specifically for aerial cargo service.
For more than 60 years, the gyrocopter has been spending time only as a niche market in the hobby sector. Commercial use is not allowed because the low load capacity of the "screwdriver" is a maximum of 450 kilograms. That's what Fraundorfer wants to change because the gyrocopter basically has one advantage: It can fly slower and lower than a helicopter. In addition, fixed-wing and helicopter pilots can be retrained with little effort.
— Article: This test pilot has developed a completely new aircraft, Handelsblatt, May 22, 2019
The Tensor 600X gyrocopter has several unique design features including the ability to use multiple energy sources such as full-electric, gasoline engines, fuel cells or hydrogen engines, wings with winglets and a sleek futuristic look. A single propeller connected to a central located engine allows for multiple energy sources. In addition the company has revealed their gyrocopter has a low noise footprint, the cost is low to purchase and operate the aircraft, its ultra-safe and has low emissions.
The company says their aircraft can easily be used for urban air mobility, cargo delivery, air taxi service, search and rescue operations, for example and can handle many jobs which helicopters, airplanes and eVTOLs can perform but with less cost, no eVTOL regulation hurdles to jump through and with a quieter noise footprint.
The Tensor gyrocopter has a flight range of 600 km (373 miles) and can fly safely at very low speeds and at speeds over 161 km/h (100 mph). The company has stated their gyrocopter is quieter than helicopters, light aircraft, drones and eVTOL aircraft. It has one-third (1/3) less drag compared to multicopters and half (1/2) the drag compared to helicopters
In March of 2020, Fraundorfer announced that the 600X had completed its maiden flight. This announcement referenced a video made in late February that demonstrated footage of the aircraft. The flight lasted for one hour, during which time the aircraft experienced a maximum speed of 130 km/h (80 mph) and maximum altitude of 500 meters (1640 ft). The company has partnered with Uedelhoven Studios to begin series production in 2021 and plans to make an entrance into the commercial market the same year. Customers will be able to purchase Tensor 600X for personal use and for flight training and fly the aircraft immediately because regulations are already in place for gyrocopters. New eVTOL aircraft will need to fight for new regulations to be created and have their aircraft approved by government flying authorities, before they can fly for personal or commercial use.
Fraundorfer Aeronautics goal is to have the two (2) seat Tensor 600X in production by the end of 2020 and the six (6) seat Tensor in production around 2024-2025. The company also hopes to launch the next vehicle in the series, the Tensor 800X, by the end of 2023.
- Aircraft: Gyrocopter capable of using multiple energy sources, including all-electric capability
- Capacity: 2
- Piloting: Manual or autonomous
- Maximum cruise speed: 213 km/h (115 kt, 132 mph)
- Lowest airspeed: 41 km/h (22kt, 25 mph)
- Range: 600 km (320 nm, 373 miles)
- Take-off requirement: 90m (300 ft) ground roll
- Landing requirement: Approximately 30 m (95 ft)
- Energy sources: All-electric using batteries, gasoline engine, fuel cells or hydrogen
- Rotorblade: Patented rotorblade technology
- Pusher propeller: 3 blades
- Windows: Floor to ceiling side windows and ceiling windows for incredible views for passengers
- Wings: Swept main wing with winglets
- Tail: The end of the fuselage includes a vertical downward tail plane and also holds a horizontal tail which has two vertical downward tail planes at the end of each tip. Total of three vertical downward tail planes.
- Landing gear: Retractable landing gear with wheels
- Fraundorfer Aeronautics website
- Article: "Fraundorfer Aeronautics" presents air taxi from the Donau-Ries, B4B Wirtschaftsleben Schwaben, May 5, 2019
- Article: This test pilot has developed a completely new aircraft, Handelsblatt, May 22, 2019
- Article: Rotor technology for new generation of aircraft, AUTOCAD and Inventor Magazine, Jun. 4, 2019
- Article: New rotor technology modeled after the maple seed, Cockpit, Jun. 6, 2019
- Article: Fraundorfer prepares clean-sheet gyrocopter for first flight, Flight Global, Aug. 12, 2019
- Article: Fraundorfer Aeronautics partners with Uedelhoven Studios to help bring Tensor 600X aircraft to advanced air mobility market, evtolinsights.com, Nov. 26, 2020