“I get paid for my hobby”

Florian Holzapfel, Passioneer lecturer and ERC consultant

“I get paid for my hobby”

Florian Holzapfel, Passioneer lecturer and ERC consultant

At ERC, we are true “Passioneers”: Engineers who are passionate about their dream. We strive for a solution for electric flying to reduce inequalities between locations – anywhere on earth: a holistic vision that is not only bigger than our product but truly #BiggerThanUs.

Yet, we are not the only ones striving towards something big. Along the way, we have met many other aviation enthusiasts who share our dream of flying and push the boundaries in different ways.

Florian Holzapfel is one of those passionate people. He teaches at the Institute of Flight Systems Dynamics at the Technical University of Munich and also knows the world from above. As a professor, he and his staff and students are driving theoretical und practical research in the field of aviation in general and electrically powered flying machines in particular. It’s great to have someone like him working hard to revolutionize future aviation, as we are doing.

Florian, how did your passion for flying come about, or was there a key experience?

Already at the age of four, I harbored a strong desire to fly. At that time, I wanted to become an astronaut, but later, in high school, I started gliding at the age of 16. From then on, it was all about flying, flying, flying. During my time at German Armed Forces, I got my pilot’s license for motorized planes and with my studies in aerospace engineering, my enthusiasm for everything that has to do with aviation grew.

My profession has always been part of my personality

For a passionate person like you, Florian, flying is more of a mission than a profession. What influence does your vocation have on your private life?

I can say with a little pride that I am paid for my hobby. Of course, my passion also has a certain influence on my private life. But also in my family, there is a great understanding of my tasks because my profession has always been a part of my personality, so I was never a latecomer and my enthusiasm is recognized with a sympathetic wink.

Balázs Nagy with the HORYZN prototype

The term #BiggerThanUs is often used here when referring to the eVTOL project. What do you think about this term?

When you want to create something great and new, every individual contributes to a strong chain. Even if the skills of the employees seem to be contradictory, they have to mesh in the best possible way. At the same time, respect is important and you should always meet at eye level. Especially in small companies, the mental horizon expands, work takes place in many dimensions, and a better view of the whole emerges.

Flying becomes closer and more tangible

When you look into the future of eVTOL development, what paths are opening up in that direction?

The eVTOL project marks the beginning of the third revolution in aerospace. Compared to large corporations, tasks are not limited to a small scope, but become major, overarching challenges. This has implications for staffing, but also operationally. Those who personally have the best formal qualifications and enthusiasm have now caught the best time to start a career in aerospace and move up to a higher level. As for flying, operations will become cheaper overall and flying will be more accessible. Less qualifications will be required to fly by yourself, maintenance costs are much lower, and manufacturing costs are also much cheaper. So flying becomes closer and more tangible, and that should be a good motivation for any pioneer.

Thanks indeed, Florian, for your time, your experiences, and your insights. With your contribution, we will reach the #BiggerThanUs goal faster.

If you also want to make a difference as part of the team, take a look at our career page. We’re looking for new Passioneers!

About eRC-System GmbH

eRC-System GmbH develops a manned electrical vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, having all aspects of certified aerospace products in mind, right from the start. The company is closely cooperating with suppliers, partners and authorities in order to realize sustainable solutions for technical, operational, and infrastructural challenges.

ERC was founded in 2020 by a team of aerospace engineers that already has gained experience in this field for many years. Being pioneers in the development of new technologies that will last beyond a human and that will have impact on the daily lives of millions, requires ERC’s “Passioneering spirit” – the combination of passion and know-how.

Being well-funded, the initial team already grew a full-featured company around the topic that is still prospering fast and highly dynamic.