Hybrid gas electric drone has 13 times the range of a battery electric drone

Top Flight Technologies is the first company to successfully demonstrate true serial hybrid power integration into multi-rotors at industry disruptive price points. Our UAVs have a demonstrated world record of 2.5+ hours with 1 gallon of gasoline and removes numerous challenges with endurance and extended payload business solution needs.

The Airborg H6 1500 is a 1500mm enhanced endurance, extended payload hex (6) rotor UAV. This vehicle has 6 – 26” carbon fiber propellers, an estimated flying time of 2+ hours minimum, at a maximum velocity of 40 mph, with a maximum payload of 20 lbs, a maximum range of 100 miles, and can operate in wind/gust conditions up to 35 mph.

This UAV is equipped with TopFlight’s Advance Autopilot System that tunes and calibrates the propulsion system fuel system which includes a 5000W rated (6000W peak) hybrid engine, 3 gallon tank and 16,000 mAh LiPo battery. The UAV can operate in manual, semi-autonomous or fully autonomous mode and includes an onboard flight data recorder, with a RC remote with 2-mile max range, and a Top Flight 8 mega-pixel gimbaled camera with high-definition downlink.

Ordinary drones with electric engines running on batteries have a range of about 12 kilometers.

The aircraft’s range is many times that of any quadcopter on the market—the most popular type of drone for its maneuverability. Almost all quadcopters run on batteries, and can fly for only about 40 minutes between charges with a payload weighing just a couple of kilograms. The new drone can also fly more than twice as far as a radio-controlled, gasoline-powered helicopter of similar size.

The efficiency of Top Flight’s drone is made possible by using batteries to supplement the gasoline engine. Power can come from the batteries, from a gasoline generator, or from both at once. And because the gasoline engine doesn’t have to supply all of the power, it’s possible to use a much smaller and more efficient one. Unlike a hybrid car, however, Top Flight’s drone doesn’t capture energy from braking.

Top Flight isn’t the first to try hybrid technology with drones. The U.S. Army and Air Force, together with an Oregon-based company called Northwest UAV, have experimented with hybrid airplanes. A representative of Northwest UAV says the company is also working on a hybrid system for use with multi-rotor craft such as quadcopters.

Long Phan, cofounder and CEO of Top Flight, says “future vehicles will fly well over three hours—we already have the new engine to do it.” The company is also developing object-avoidance technology and other safety features

SOURCES – Top Flight, Technology Review, Youtube

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