October 2018

Technology Day and company party mark 40 years of EMT

LUNA NG with VTOL the main attraction

[Translate to Englisch:] Fotos: Heiko Jäger/EMT

18th October 2018. More than 250 people, amongst them high-ranking military and defence personnel and Penzberg’s mayor, Elke Zehetner, plus nearly all EMT staff from all four German branches, gathered at the military training area in Spatzenhausen, Upper Bavaria, to celebrate 40 years of innovation and design talent.

For many, the highlight was the demo flight of the new LUNA NG – VTOL. Onlookers first observed the LUNA NG being launched by catapult and flying over the surrounding fields and villages, relaying images from all four cameras.  Then, after a successful net landing, the NG was swiftly converted to VTOL mode. With baited breath, the audience outside on the field watched the aircraft execute a perfect vertical take-off. Guests in the marquee saw the whole show live by video streaming. After a faultless flight in cerulean skies, an equally perfect vertical landing followed; all in all, a 100% success. EMT managing director Wolfgang Brand described this first official VTOL flight as the indubitable climax of the flight show – “sending shivers down the spine of guests and EMT staff alike”.

For those who don’t yet know, VTOL stands for Vertical Take-Off and Landing. Battery operated electric engines propel the aircraft up and down like a helicopter; once in the air, the transition is made automatically to propulsion engine-driven propellers. The LUNA NG – VTOL is one of few prototypes in its size class to combine a convertiplane with a drone, without the need for high-maintenance tiltrotors. Both systems have the same technical base, meaning that they can be converted from one to the other within minutes, as demonstrated in Spatzenhausen. The twin elements of flexibility and universality are of massive advantage to the user.

 

See the flight demo video here.

 

Congratulations were in order from the guest speakers, firstly Ralph Herzog from the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, IT and In-Service Support (Air Command), who declared the event as a breakthrough for EMT and its history of innovative design.

Achim Friedl from UAV DACH (Unmanned Aviation Association) used his speech to emphasise the “protection and safety of soldiers in far from secure mission areas” – e.g. Afghanistan and Mali – “but also by Federal Police and special forces from the elite Police Tactical Unit GS9”. Col Ralph Malzahn, General Staff, went on to acknowledge EMT’s LUNA and ALADIN systems as key components of Bundeswehr foreign missions, contributing massively to safety of military personnel: “these systems have led to enhanced performance of troops, not only during missions but also in training, a very satisfactory result. And now we have the new LUNA NG – VTOL to look forward to.”

Penzberg’s mayor Elke Zehetner cited EMT as a “globally recognized organisation for aviation technology” – a significant presence in the local business community since 1987.

EMT’s Wolfgang Brand summed up: “We see ourselves as a strategic partner of the Bundeswehr. Notwithstanding all the wholly justified interest in commercial usage of our systems, the Bundeswehr will remain our main business partner for the foreseeable future.”

 

The celebrations were rounded off by a fascinating exhibition about 40 years of EMT, highlighting the company’s history and commemorating the company’s founder and long-standing CEO Hartmut Euer (1936-2016). As Mr Euer once said, “Back then, I never thought I would design and manufacture drones. But aerospace was always my favourite topic. I stuck with it and thereby discovered my true vocation.”

Perfectly complementing the photo timeline from 1978 to 2018 were diverse EMT design projects and products, past and present. The setting of a military warehouse only enhanced the atmosphere of high-ceilinged airiness coupled with gritty technical reality. As many visitors commented, EMT could set up its own permanent museum.