Fraundorfer Aeronautics has entered into a strategic partnership with engineering services company Uedelhoven Studios, with the aim of bringing its newly-developed Tensor 600X aircraft into series production and further develop it for commercial use.
The German startup plans to bring a two-seater model for personal mobility to the Advanced Air Mobility market as early as next year, after it completed a maiden flight at the start of this year.
The aircraft, which is a newly developed ‘compound gyrocopter’, works on the principle of autorotation. Energy contained in the air is used to drive the rotor and in addition, a wing generates further lift to increase performance and stability.
Fraundorfer Aeronautics has said the Tensor 600X is about twice as efficient as a comparable helicopter – with a range of 600km and a top speed of 200km/h. By 2023, Fraundorfer Aeronautics will launch the Tensor 800X, a further development of the Tensor 600X, which is intended to be approved under European aviation regulations and suitable for commercial use. It will be used for air taxi missions, air logistics or for supply flights to hard-to-reach regions.
Christoph Fraundorfer, Founder and CEO of Fraundorfer Aeronautics, said: “With the Tensor we are breaking new ground in mobility. In the development of the machine, we have relied on completely new and highly efficient technologies, but we are also very innovative in terms of prototype construction and production.
“Conventional methods of the aviation industry are often no longer practicable, not economical and too time-consuming. Uedelhoven Studios is exactly the right partner for us. The company is already a leader in design and prototype construction in the automotive industry. Now we are taking off together in the field of Advanced Air Mobility”.
Uedelhoven Studios is a design and engineering services company based in Gaimersheim, Germany and has said it can implement concepts in a few weeks that would take months when using conventional methods from the aviation industry.
Jürgen Uedelhoven, CEO of Uedelhoven Studios, added: “Our common goal is to do pioneering work and to actually serve the field of Advanced Air Mobility for the first time.
“We also want to take development and production methods to a new level in aviation that has never been seen before. While contributing our expertise in construction, design and prototype construction, we are also learning from Fraundorfer Aeronautics to obtain our certification as an aviation supplier.”
Fraundorfer Aeronautics say the characteristics of the Tensor make it very suitable for use in urban environments, such as airport feeder services. But it added that the Tensor’s capabilities also offer great advantages between cities and in regions with weak infrastructure, for example for rescue services, transport flights or disaster control.
The concept of the aircraft is also prepared for all forms of future mobility, and has been designed for different types of propulsion. “We will use these technologies when the legal framework conditions are in place,” Fraundorfer added.