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Tue, Nov 23, 2021

Former Volocopter Founder Completes Prototype

Begins eMagic, Fixed-Wing Hybrid eVTOL 

Thomas Senkel made eVTOL and AAM history with his pioneering work on Volocopter, neé e-Volo, as one of the founding members and testers of their multi-copter air taxi aircraft. After 5 years with the company, Senkel split in 2016 to pursue more efficient, longer-legged sustainable aircraft.

Feeling that a new enterprise and aircraft would offer more fertile engineering ground for his talents, he partnered with Michael Kügelgen to start eMagic. Their focus on a hybrid fixed-wing/multirotor system results in an aircraft with longer range, greater efficiency, and vastly improved flight characteristics when compared to a standard rotor-based eVTOL. 

The differences between Senkel's newest design and his previous Volocopter 2X are striking. The eMagic can cruise for up to an hour, with a range of 120 miles. Its aerodynamic form boasts much better speeds, cruising at 78 knots and good for a max speed of 92 knots. The long superseded 2X pales in comparison, only capable of less than 30 minutes of flight, for 17 miles of range, and a top speed of 55 knots. It would seem his former colleagues at Volocopter have taken some of his advice to heart, in their newest long range Voloconnect aircraft released in Spring of 2021. That aircraft combines many of the same design characteristics of their original aircraft with elongated wings and banks of rotors not too far removed from the eMagic’s basic layout. 

It’s not unusual that the eMagic's form is an increasingly familiar sight in the sector. Designers want to leverage the stability, flyability, and safety of a traditional fixed wing aircraft but retain the short takeoff or near-VTOL performance of a traditional multirotor aircraft. Senkel says his newest project is far safer and easier to fly and a hard plane to stall even at its stall speed of 40 knots. “The tandem wing configuration gives excellent flight characteristics. It’s impossible to stall it. It softly goes into a higher sink rate when the stick is pulled, but it remains controllable all the time. This behavior is very useful for transition between flight modes.”

FMI: www.emagic-aircraft.com

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