A brand new gyrocopter is being launched at the European Rotors show and conference which opens in Cologne today.
German technology company Fraundorfer Aeronautics is introducing the Tensor 600X which it claims has a range of 600km (324nm) and a max cruise speed of 200km/h (108kt).
Fraundorfer says the Tensor 600X is twice as efficient as a comparable helicopter thanks to its R01 High Performance rotor system, which works with a wing to create lift. The wing supplies 30% of the lift at cruise speed, reducing drag from the rotors, according to Fraundorfer.
The Tensor 600X has flown, making its first flight back in January 2020. It is currently undergoing certification and the first production aircraft are being built.
Christoph Fraundorfer, founder and CEO of Fraundorfer Aeronautics, and a graduate of the UK’s Empire Test Pilots School, said, “When we founded Fraundorfer Aeronautics, we wanted not only to bring the beauty and efficiency of flight into everyone’s daily lives, but also, and more importantly, to enable environmental and disaster relief missions that were previously infeasible.
“We have been performing unsolved, highly complex aerodynamic calculations for decades. After seven years of risks and challenges, we’ve made a breakthrough.”
Fraundorfer also says the Tensor is a scalable concept. By mid-decade, the company will launch the larger Tensor 800X, which will be certified under European aviation regulations and capable of commercial operations.
Although the launch aircraft will be powered by a Rotax 915iS engine, Fraundorfer says the Tensor 600X could easily be adapted for a hybrid power unit or hydrogen fuel cell.
Tensor 600X Fast Facts
Max cruise speed: 200km/h
Min flight speed: 50km/h
Range at 185km/h: 600km
Max payload (including fuel): 230kg (507 lb)
Empty weight (depending on equipment): 370kg (816 lb)
Max take-off weight: 600kg (1,323 lb)
Take-off run at MTOW: 90 metres (300ft)
Landing distance at MTOW: 20 metres (70ft)
Ceiling: 3,000 metres (10,000ft)
Engine: Rotax 915iS
Propeller:Three-blade constant speed
Rotor: Fraundorfer R01 High Performance
Storage: Cargo space & overhead compartment
Airframe: Monocoque with crash protection structure
Wing: Foldable for hangar and transport
Nose gear: Retractable
Configuration: Two occupants in tandem formation
Doors: Two, removable