Visit to Fraundorfer Aeronautics.

Mike G

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Lillebonne France
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Owned Magni M16 now ELA 07
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Fraundorfer Aeronautics (https://www.fraundorfer.aero/) are developers of the very interesting and advanced Tensor autogyro

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and when their specialist with the PB4 balancer left them they asked Smart Avionics who they could get to train their new guy to get the maximum out of the PB4. They got me.

As a result I spent 3 days at the Fraundorfer headquarters in Genderkingen where they showed me some of the detailed aerodynamic and design simulation work
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that they have done to develop their own rotor with their own aerofoil sections. This team comes from Airbus helicopters and bring with them advanced engineering knowledge and specialization that I’ve not seen in any of the other gyro manufacturers I’ve worked with and I’ve worked with most of them.

Their rotor has different aerofoil sections along its length that were developed with the University of Stuttgart and a variable chord width.

A prototype rotor was fitted to a Magni M16 test vehicle that we used as a basis for the PB4 rotor track and balance (RTB) training.
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This M16 and its rotor are loaded with sensors. I thought my gyro with multiple PB4s, flapping sensors and the Gyro Warning System (GWS) was well instrumented but this M16 was at a totally different level.

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The influence and sophistication from the modern helicopter was very evident.

The fuselage layout includes stub wings and twin tail booms and a number of other innovative features that look very promising.

It’s obvious that this gyro is aimed more at the professional market as a helicopter alternative for those missions that don’t require a hover function and will probably be too expensive for most of us but if it succeeds in breaking into the pro market it should create a more positive image of gyros than they have at the moment and that has got to be a good thing for our recreational gyro industry.

Their prototype was at another factory being worked on but I got a chance to sit in their mock-up cockpit which was very comfortable with a superb view especially from the rear seat where the pilot’s head doesn’t seem to block much of the view and the passenger has a complete view of the instrument panel.

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The training was a pleasure and went very easily because these guys already understood RTB and we could really spend the time delving into different functions of the PB4 that most users never need to use.
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A fascinating visit and I really hope Fraundorfer succeed, I feel that they’re making an advance in gyrocopter design without trying to go too far in one step as was perhaps the case with the Carter copter.

Mike G
 

NJpilot

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Isn't the often repeated selling point for commercial operations of "simpler and less expensive than a helicopter" thwarted by the fact that most professional pilots value helicopter certification way over gyros?
 

Mike G

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Messages
1,605
Location
Lillebonne France
Aircraft
Owned Magni M16 now ELA 07
Total Flight Time
550FW + 500 gyro
Wolfy
This M16 had higher than usual 2/rev due to all the equipment on the rotor and rotor head and the probe sticking out the front so its 2/rev isn't comparable. Typically the 2/rev of an M16 with the PB4 accelerometer mounting bracket is between 2.5 and 3.2 IPS.

NJpilot
This was one of the subjects I brought up during our discussions, and I agree with you that it is a real problem for anyone trying to get gyros into a commercial application.
Unlike most gyro manufacturers I've dealt with I found Fraundorfer very open to outside ideas.

Mike
 
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