Home Aviation Watch: This New Hybrid eVTOL Flies Like an Airplane and Hovers Like a Chopper

Watch: This New Hybrid eVTOL Flies Like an Airplane and Hovers Like a Chopper

Forget futuristic concepts and rocket scientists. After a few years of R&D, this scrappy German startup is already flying its eMagic One.

by admin

The eMagic One is the latest eVTOL design to enter the aviation revolution, but this one is different, starting with its pedigree.

One of company founders is Thomas Senkel, a physicist known as the pilot of the world’s first eVTOL—a rotocopter that consisted of a chair attached to a metal frame and 16 small propellers. The rough-hewn contraption first took flight in 2011, and the team that built it founded Volocopter to advance the design.

After parting ways with Volocopter a few years later, Senkel in 2018 teamed up with Michael Kügelgen to create eMagic Aircraft. In the two-and-a-half years that followed, they didn’t simply produce schematic drawings and a scale model but self-financed and built the eMagic One from scratch.

“We did everything—the aerodynamics and the complete aircraft design, the electric motors and controllers,” Kügelgen told Robb Report. “Otherwise, those systems would’ve been exclusively developed for us, as the propellers.”

The design itself is flying a tandem wing craft with eight large propellers attached to rails that connect the wings. That octet supplies lift, while another propeller on the nose provides thrust.

Thanks to lightweight carbon honeycomb construction, the two independent battery packs create enough juice to push the eMagic to a top speed of 106 mph, and a cruise of 90 mph with a one-hour range. Hover time is just four minutes. Still, the combination of “an aircraft with a multicopter gives five times the range compared with a pure multicopter,” says the company.

The eMagic One’s aerodynamics and lightweight landing gear allow it to execute energy-saving, short-runway takeoffs and landings when they are optional. A video that accompanied the introduction showed the eMagic getting airborne from a runway with a pilot at the controls, then pictured it launching vertically while piloted remotely. It didn’t show the craft transitioning from one mode to the other; apparently those tests are yet to come.

For Kügelgen, those trials are just another small step on the way to a much bigger goal.

“We did this with a very small team and a handful of experts, not tens or hundreds like in the big-shot companies,” he says. “And we are actually flying, not just dreaming about it. Our single-seater shows what is already possible and what we as a team can do. Based on this, we’d like to build a three- to four-seater for private and commercial general aviation.”

How soon might it hit the market? Kügelgen points to the eMagic’s short history. “Like always, we will be very fast,” he says.

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