Super-efficient autogyro makes its debut

Fraundorfer Aeronautics' Tensor 600x

Fraundorfer Aeronautics says its Tensor 600X has a distinct aerodynamic advantage over comparable aircraft - Credit: Fraundorfer Aeronautics

A new autogyro - the Tensor 600X - was launched at the European Rotors show and conference in Cologne in November 2021.

German technology company Fraundorfer Aeronautics introduced the Tensor 600X, which has a projected cruising speed of 108kt and range of 324nm. The company claims that the aircraft is twice as efficient as a comparable helicopter, its wing supplying 30% of the lift at cruise speed, with a comparable reduction in drag from the rotors. The Tensor 600X made its maiden flight in January 2020, and is currently undergoing certification while the first production aircraft are under construction.

Christoph Fraundorfer, a graduate of the UK’s Empire Test Pilots School and founder of Fraundorfer Aeronautics, believes that the specific advantage of his autogyro over comparable aircraft lies in the aerodynamics: “We have been performing unsolved, highly complex aerodynamic calculations for decades. After seven years of risks and challenges, we’ve made a breakthrough.” 

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.