FRAUNDORFER PREPARES FLIGFHT TESTING OF TWO-SEAT GYROCOPTER
Germany’s Fraundorfer Aeronautics intends to start test flights of a prototype two-seat gyrocopter this year, with a plan to introduce a six-seat version by 2025.
The Donauworth-based company unveiled the Tensor two-seater in May, which it is now preparing for flight testing. Certification initially as an ultralight aircraft for the owner-flyer and training markets is targeted for summer 2020. Deliveries are scheduled to begin later that year, says Fraundorfer’s head of sales and marketing, Klaus-Peter Leinauer.
The manufacturer’s strategy is to expand the platform’s capability and customer base in stages. Certification as an aerial observation and special mission platform under European Union Aviation Safety Agency regulations is planned for 2022, and approval for a six-seat variant suitable for the air taxi market is scheduled for 2024-2025, says Fraundorfer.
At an airspeed as low as 22kt (41km/h), the Tensor will offer similar capabilities to a helicopter but will be much quieter and cheaper to operate, says Fraundorfer. Take-off will require a 90m (300ft) ground roll, while landing will be possible within 30m, the company adds. The aircraft will have a maximum cruise speed of 115kt, and a range up to 320nm (593km).
A pusher propeller – with three blades on the Tensor and six blades on the six-seater is integrated into the tail boom, leading to an empennage with a horizontal tail plane and three down-facing fins. The two outer fins are connected, via struts, to the main wings.
While the gyrocopter will initially be powered by a Rotax piston engine, Fraundorfer foresees that the aircraft could alternatively be equipped with fuel cell- or battery-powered electric motors or a hydrogen combustion engine.
(Source and image: Fraundorfer)
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