Hybrid drone spent a record eight hours

The Spanish company Quaternium Technologies broke the record for flight duration among hybrid multicopter: it is a new prototype held in the air 8 hours and 10 minutes without landing or refueling. It’s almost an hour longer than the previous record, established by a Chinese company Richenpower in 2018.

The majority of civilian unmanned aircraft is all-electric multicopter, often the quadcopter. This design has established itself as simple to operate and inexpensive to manufacture, although not too effective. The last two reasons. First, due to the static design with multiple propellers multicopter make maneuvers, redistributing the thrust between the propellers that are less efficient than the manoeuvring of helicopters or of mecoptera with rotary screws. Second, the energy density of lithium-ion batteries is much lower than that of the fuel.

In most cases, users are satisfied with about a half-hour’s supply of conventional flying quadcopters, and if necessary, you can replace the battery and continue flying. But for some applications this is inconvenient, so there is an alternative in the form of hybrid drones. They also have the design of the quadcopter, and rotate the propellers by electric motors, but get their energy mostly from a small internal combustion engine.

In recent years, manufacturers have significantly increased the mission duration a hybrid drones to values which exceed the duration of the flight electric drones. Until recently, the record was 7 hours and 17 minutes spent in the air the Chinese prototype of a hybrid drone. The new record belongs to the Spanish company Quaternium Technologies.

Test flight of the prototype, based on the serial Drona HYBRiX 2.1 with a nominal flight time of about four hours, held near Valencia. A drone flew into the air at 08:52 a.m. and landed on a stretched underneath the net at 17:02. Thus, a new record of flight duration of the drone hybrid is 490 minutes or 8 hours and 10 minutes.

Maximum takeoff weight of the drone is 25 pounds and a maximum payload weight of 10 kilograms. It is unknown how the duration of the flight of the new prototype, but the serial version, it is reduced by half from four to two hours at full load. The drone runs on a mixture of gasoline 95 octane and oil.

In 2018, the American company Impossible Aerospace introduced an all-electric quadcopter with a two-hour duration of the flight. This was achieved due to the fact that 70 percent of the mass and most of the drone is necessary on the batteries.

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