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Foldable Flettner Rotor

Contact Information

Competition Year:2016

University: ETH Zürich

Team Members (with year of graduation): Franz Radke, Sebastian Krummenacher, Pascal Enderli, Lucien Anthamatten, Dario Blumenthal, Michael Dreyer (Mechanical Engineering Students 6. Semester) 

Faculty Advisers: Allie Blösch-Paidosh, Jonas Schwarz

Email Address:

Submission Language: English

Project Information

Title: Foldable Flettner Rotor

Description:  Building of a foldable Flettner Rotor filled with air for small boats.

Products:     roboRIO, wind sensor, hall sensor, electrical motor. LabVIEW

The Challenge:

On many lakes in Europe it is allready forbidden to use boats with a combustion engine. Electric boats don't have enough energy for a whole day on the water.

The Solution:

A Flettner Rotor is easy to use and if foldable not an obstacle when there is now wind. With wind the energy consumption is so low that you can drive the boat for a whole day.


This is the system we built.


The outer surface with three layer fabric.


Our system on the lake. (5:08-6:48)

The system is in a beta status. It took us 8 months to build. The passive inner structure could be substitutet for a active pneumatic telescope that would make the inflation process faster and more robust.