Ultra-strong and ultra-light

Be it on land, on water or in the air, the Flywhale moves safely and reliably in all three elements. And more than that: It is a special aeronautical pleasure with which to explore the world from above in this amphibious aircraft made from super-light fibre composite material. Innovative drive technology from FAULHABER is also put inside these fascinating seaplanes, which are manufactured in North Germany.

Dötlingen in Lower Saxony is the headquarters of Flywhale Aircraft GmbH & Co KG, which was founded by Elke and Helmut Rind in 2012. “Our goal was to develop and market an ultra-light seaplane”, explains Helmut Rind. The team tinkered with the implementation of the Flywhale Adventure iS Sport for many months. This was followed by many tests. The result is an ultra-light amphibious aircraft which can take off and land on both water and land, and impresses with the high quality of its aerodynamics. Flywhale Aircraft GmbH is Germany’s only manufacturer of ultra-light seaplanes.

For adventurers and lifesaver

“Our Flywhale is a modern flying boat with the latest engine technology and several special technical features”, elaborates Rind. “It provides plenty of room – and above all there is a high fun factor. It was created for adventurers who want to be independent.” However, the target groups are not just aviators with a passion for water, but also the coastguard and rescue services. The seaplane reaches a top speed of up to 200kilometres per hour. The annual production that the company is endeavouring to achieve is 20 aircraft, and about eight aircraft are currently being manufactured per year.

Components from FAULHABER

“The latest technology is used for the construction of our Flywhales, and we use the best materials”, says Helmut Rind. Components from FAULHABER play an important part in lowering and raising the landing gear. One drive for the main landing gear and one drive for the nose gear are realised using FAULHABER products. The nose gear is moved by a spindle mechanism. The drive solution from FAULHABER ensures that the required rotation of the lead screw takes place. A drive unit is used which consists of a graphite-commutated series 3257 … CR DC motor, including an IE3-1024 Encoder and a type 32/3S Planetary Gearhead. A type MCDC 3006 S RS controller completes the intelligent system.

No additional sensor systems required

“The end positions for the status of the raised and lowered landing gear are determined by the encoder and controller, and are displayed in the cockpit as a signal using a blue and green control LED”, explains Michael Schütte, Area Sales Manager at FAULHABER. “This means that we were almost able to dispense with an additional sensor system for end position detection altogether.” The nose gear is also equipped with a spring element which ensures that outstanding suspension comfort is provided. The two main landing gears are raised and lowered using a worm gear drive. The same FAULHABER drive as the one used for the nose gear is used at both sides. A screw which moves the landing gear via a gear segment is driven by the FAULHABER gearhead type 32/3S via the gearbox output shaft. Similarly to the nose gear, the end positions are detected accordingly via the encoder and the controller and displayed in the cockpit.

Special challenges

“The drives must provide a high level of drive power for a short time and be as light as possible. Also, the landing gear movement must be able to take place both in the water and in the air”, elaborates Michael Schütte. The system must therefore be extremely reliable. Because of their light weight, high power density and compact size, the FAULHABER components are just the job for this.

Professional service

As far as the people responsible for the Flywhale are concerned, it is not only technical reliability but also professional service that speaks in favour of FAULHABER motors. “We are delighted to collaborate with FAULHABER”, emphasises Helmut Rind. “The thing that FAULHABER and Flywhale have in common is that we are only satisfied with the best result.”

Nose gear drive with FAULHABER motor
gearhead encoder unit as well as spur
gearheads with lead screws