Since the beginning of this year, Heiko Schenk is a new face with us and supports us in hardware development and as a test pilot. Working at Third Element Aviation is by no means his first encounter with drones: Heiko Schenk is a former German Drone Racing Champion and has raced all over the world.

Heiko, how did you come to 3EA?

At a party of a former sponsor and current friend, a mutual customer was a guest, who then directly contacted Third Element Aviation when he heard that I was on the lookout. We talked and now I’ve been here since the beginning of January. Before that, I was a trained IT specialist and was a support for ERP systems.

And you have more than a little prior experience with drones, right?

I did drone racing semi-professionally, so I worked part-time, but I also made money racing. That’s when I designed, milled and sold frames for the racing drones myself. I also had the opportunity to develop my own motor with the company T-Motor and there was also a “Heiko Schenk” racing propeller.

How do you even get into doing something like that?

I thought drones were kind of cool right when the topic started. It started with a photo drone, but that was boring after a few times. I quickly developed it a bit more myself. At some point I saw a video of FPV (First Person View) drones racing through the forest. On the same day, a beginner’s set was ordered, tried out and I was immediately hooked. With a FPV headset, the body is fooled and you have the feeling of sitting in the drone. It has something of the “dream of flying”, being free like a bird, being able to observe everything from above.

Since I am a competitive guy, after two weeks of flight training I made the decision that I want to become German Champion in the Drone Racing category. After nine months, I was already flying internationally, flying for teams and, until Corona came along, had been to over 30 countries.

Wow, and then where have you been? What’s the most impressive thing that stuck with you?

There’s so much – I flew over the Great Wall of China, over the Champs-Élysées, which was terribly impressive because there were so many people at the event. There was once a Redbull event on a Formula 1 track in Austria, where you flew through a hoop of fire, and a salt mine in Romania. I have also been to the USA, Brussels, South Korea and many other places. Additionally, I gave drone racing lessons at a Chinese school as part of a project week.

But now your drone racing time is behind you? Do you miss it sometimes?

Because of Corona, there were no more events in the international scene from one day to the next. During this time I dedicated myself more to FreeStyle flying and currently I don’t fly competitively anymore.

Sure, I miss the time somehow. But everything has its place in life and I am happy that I could turn my passion into a profession. They were beautiful but also intense five years from 2016 to 2021.

What do you bring back from that time for your work here?

Understanding drones and how they work, which is just something completely different again than with model planes. Weight, for example, is much more important. Also, drones are much more active when flying. The experiences I gained in my racing days help me in my job in many places: be it tuning, aerodynamic effects, vibration, radio or battery issues.

What do you like about your job and the company?

I like that the team consists of so many different people: people from the automotive industry, aeronautics, physicists, robotics and many others. And the work is not monotonous. There are many facets, whether it’s in development, flying in systems, or on-site with customers. And the flexible working hours are great.

Is there anything particularly memorable about your time here so far and is there anything you would like to see in the future?

Flying our 25kg drone Auriol for the first time was impressive. I would love to fly it through a course with FPV headset. The sound would be amazing. 

And last but not least: What advice would you give to other people who want to be part of the team?

That you should dare: this field is not something you can have learned the classical way. If you have flown something actively as a hobby, and have developed a little yourself, you can definitely bring that to the table. So anyone who is interested in the subject should apply.

(Thanks to Heiko Schenk for the additional photos!)

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drone #UAV #UAS #droneracing #interview #erfahrungsbericht #Auriol #FPV #FPVracing #3EAstelltvor #3EAintroduces #fpvlife #fpvdrones

Last week it was happening: The first table tennis tournament took place to find the 3EA Champion 2023. In 30 exciting matches the three best were finally determined:

Chiara (3rd place, picture 2, right), Niklas (2nd place, picture 2, left) and the undefeated winner Heiko (picture 3)!

Meanwhile, burgers were grilled and eaten and foosball was played. Thanks to all who were there and see you at next year’s tournament!

Our thanks also go to Sport Weckenbrock for sponsoring prizes!

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #teamevent #tischtennis #tabletennis #teambuilding #sports

So there it is: the AURIOL! The week before last, we delivered the system for the first time. We hope for many more such moments, of course.

The AURIOL is our newest and largest drone to date. It sets new standards in the UAV sector: with a maximum take-off weight of 25kg, the octocopter is particularly suitable for use cases that require high payloads or long distances.

Redundant motors, four battery packs, integrated parachute and many other safety features ensure maximum stability and safety with the best possible performance. This makes the AURIOL perfectly suited for the delivery of urgently needed goods, integration of special sensors and many other application scenarios.

More technical details? We have! Here:

Still questions or direct interest? Report directly here:

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drone #UAV #UAS #AURIOL #logistics #logistik #innovation #heavycargo #drones

We are incredibly pleased that after many years of intensive development we were able to deliver the first Auriol last week.  The first Auriol thus went to our friends and partners at Koerschulte.

We have been working with the traditional company Koerschulte from Lüdenscheid for several years now. With the Auriol, our new heavy-duty drone, which we will soon present in more detail, we want to jointly bring new impetus to the logistics industry. With the help of our drones, Koerschulte wants to establish delivery by drone as a service and thus respond to the various challenges in the B2B delivery industry.

We would like to thank you for your trust and are of course looking forward to working with you in the future!

A solution for logistics by drones sounds exciting? Read more here: Norman Koerschulte (pictured right) is also happy to receive interested inquiries:!

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drone #UAV #UAS #partner #partnership #Auriol #innovation #logistik #logistics #drone4parcel5g #network #netzwerk #5G

… we have, but especially the consortium of the project “Drones4Bats”. The development of renewable energies is more than desirable in today’s world, but at the same time the protection of endangered species is no less important. The aim of the project is therefore to use drones to record the activity of bats around wind turbines.

This should solve several problems at the same time: when building new wind turbines, the surrounding area can be examined for bats and new turbines can be planned and built more quickly accordingly.

For existing wind turbines, the exact periods of bat activity can be recorded. In both cases, this is intended to prevent bat strikes, i.e. the animals dying or being injured. At the same time, wind turbines can be further expanded and periods of use can be made more effective. Previously, wind turbines often had to be taken out of operation to avoid further endangering the species-protected animals.

The envisaged technical solution involves the mobile recording of bats with drones and integrated recording devices. Compared to previous measurements from the ground or from the wind turbine nacelle, this allows significantly larger effective areas to be covered. We provide the project and the partners with one of our ConVecDro drones (left in the picture) to develop a solution that is as automated and bat-friendly as possible.

Further information on the project website:

(Image: Marc Roswag)

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drone #UAV #UAS #project #research #entwicklung #fledermaus #fledermäuse #bats #forschung #forschungsprojekt #innovation #future #artenschutz #umweltschutz #aviation #zukunft #windkraft

After an intensive preparation and the audit in spring this year, we finally hold our certificate for quality management (ISO 9001:2015) in our hands. As you can see, it is already hanging and we and especially Chiara, who played a significant role as quality management representative, are happy about this achieved goal!

What may sound dry at first glance is an important concern for our customers and ourselves. So, what does an ISO 9001 certification mean?

With the introduction of a quality management system, organization and processes are clearly defined and structured. Workflows can thus be designed as efficiently as possible, while high quality and customer satisfaction remain clearly in focus. Risks and opportunities are clearly identified and the company is continuously improved on them.

It is not just a matter of developing any structures and procedures, but of ensuring that these are adopted and implemented naturally by all employees in their day-to-day work, and this is repeatedly checked by regular external audits.

For Third Element Aviation, this is an important step in our growth strategy to be clearly structured and prepared for new challenges in the future. In this way, we can become a little bit better every day.

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drone #UAV #UAS #qualitätsmanagement #quality #zertifikat #certificat #audit #ISO #work #management #growth #strategy #aviation #zukunft #future #opportunities

Last week we were awarded the Red Dot Design Award for the Automated First Responder Drone X4 together with HHLA Sky GmbH and the use institute of the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück. The product design was awarded with the highest possible award “Best of the Best”.

The Red Dot Design Award is presented every year in the categories Product Design, Brands & Communication Design and Design Concept and is one of the most renowned and largest design competitions worldwide. This year, a jury of experts selected the best entries in the product design category alone from more than 7,900 entries from around 60 countries.

The X4 was the only entry to win the top prize in its “Drones and Action Cameras” category. “One of the best drones of recent years,” was the verdict of the experts. Particular praise was given to the robust design and the strong focus on usability.

We are very happy about this award and thank all participants for this success.

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drone #UAV #UAS #Design #designaward #reddot #reddotdesignaward #reddotaward #reddotmoment #productdesign #drones #aviation #gala #award #future #innovation

The goal of the 5GAPS project is to create a so-called cubelet system that divides public spaces into three-dimensional cubes and thereby allows precise and adaptive mapping and thus also navigation in three dimensions. The central building block here is 5G technology, which allows a large exchange of data volumes, has low latency and offers high precision. It can also be used for (combined) navigation outside and inside buildings – in contrast to GPS technology, for example.

Once implemented, the cubelet system could enable many use cases: Route planning for logistics with drones or better utilization of usable space. Applications in the field of industrial metaverse would also be conceivable – in the future, for example, factories could be displayed, maintained or made more efficient in virtual reality.

The project as a whole is intended to explore the possibilities of the still new 5G technology. The campus network at the Deutsche Messe exhibition center in Hanover is available as a test area. Third Element Aviation has been involved in the project since the beginning of 2022 and, as one of the partners in the project, provides drones that are used to check the quality of the 5G connection in the test area. The project also involves many other high-profile partners from science and industry.

Further information here:

#3EA #thefutureisairborne #aviation #drones #UAV #5G #wireless #technology #drone #messe #industrialmetaverse #industrial #industrie #navigation #public #virtualreality #vr

Today we are especially pleased to introduce our new strong, strategic partner in the field of logistics: The Easter bunny relies on us and our drones for the delivery of many beautiful Easter nests and colorful eggs! Whether they will all be found remains to be seen…

Third Element Aviation wishes all employees, partners and customers a happy and relaxing Easter!

#aviation #drones #UAV #UAS #ICC #interfacedesign #automation #thefutureisairborne #ostern #osterhase #ostereier #osternest #happyeaster #easteregg #easterbunny

From October to December 2022 we had the pleasure to have Kavi Manu Kanes with us as an intern in hardware development. Kavi is studying mechatronics at the FH Bielefeld and completed a 12-week internship with us as part of the preparation for his bachelor thesis.  

How did you decide to do your internship at Third Element Aviation? Have you ever had anything to do with drones?  

A fellow student once told me that there was a company around here that worked with drones and ROS, so that stuck in the back of my mind.  

I had also considered buying a drone or building one myself, but never followed through. I find drones interesting because it’s still a fairly new field and has a lot of potential. I also had a bit of previous experience as an electrician and because I already worked with microcontrollers as a hobby and implemented smaller projects.  

What were your tasks here?  

I developed a prototype for a feature that Third Element needed. The first idea was to develop a kind of counter for the landing frame of the drone that measures how hard the impact is during landing. This could be used, for example, to better plan when such landing gear needs to be checked. Nothing came of that, though.  

But the second idea – which I then implemented – was a flight termination system.   

What did you particularly like about your time here?  

It was cool here, all the people were very nice. The cooperation was good and it was fun. You could get a taste of everything in the company and get an overview of how everything is connected. I could always ask questions.  

It was also cool that I was able to do something that helped the company move forward and that gave me confidence and responsibility. I also like that there are modern working time models and flexible hours here, and there was also a small payment for the internship.  

What advice would you give to other people who would like to do an internship here? What should you bring with you?  

I think an interest in model airplanes or drones would be good. You should have a desire for hardware and construction or at the mix of software and hardware, programming smaller things.  

You should also be good at teamwork and be able to engage with others. It is important – especially when solving problems – to exchange ideas. You should contribute your own ideas, but also let other people contribute ideas.  

Do you have any final words?  

I can only recommend an internship here!  

We would like to thank you, Kavi, for the good time and cooperation at 3EA and look forward to welcoming you back here for your final thesis.  

Are you also interested in doing an internship, writing a thesis or starting as a working student with us? Feel free to send us an email with your documents to! 

3EA #thirdelementaviation #thefutureisairborne #aviation #drones #UAV #UAS #interview #bericht #praktikum #intern #internship #praktikant