Tuesday, May 21, 2024

New gas-electric VTOL hybrid drone can fly more than 3 hours

Electric multicopter drones can be used in a wide range of applications, but their battery life of 30 minutes or less limits their actual use.

Now, the Advanced Aircraft Company has announced the launch of a new gas-electric VTOL hybrid drone to address that limitation. With dual payloads and 3.5 hours of continual flight time, the new Hybrid Advanced Multirotor Unmanned Aircraft System (HAMR) is now available on the market, following extensive Beta testing.

The HAMR incorporates an electronic fuel injected and computer-controlled 35cc single-piston engine, which drives an onboard generator producing up to 2000W. That generator, in turn, powers the craft’s six independent brushless DC electric motors and an integrated backup battery. This configuration allows for up to 3.5 hours of flight time, six times longer than a conventional battery-powered multirotor aircraft. In the event of an engine failure or an electric motor failure, the onboard battery will provide enough power to safely execute an emergency landing.

HAMR drone on grass
The hybrid drone can be unpacked from its case and in the air within four minutes. Credit: Advanced Aircraft Company

The aircraft is 65-inch long, 130-inch wide, and 19-inch high, and it has an empty weight of 32 lb (14.5 kg) and a maximum forward flight speed of 25 knots (46 km/h). It can carry a maximum of 6 lb (2.7 kg) divided between two cargo compartments, allowing for multiple payload options or increased fuel capacity.

In addition to flying for hours at a time, it can be unpacked from its case and in the air within four minutes; also, it is durable (IP65 rated) and field maintainable. Besides, the hybrid drone is highly portable and can be launched within minutes without the need for ground support infrastructure. The system can be disassembled and stored in a single case and easily transported in a conventional passenger or small military vehicle.

The HAMR UAS has been optimized for a wide range of commercial, defense, and public safety applications. These include surveying & mapping, critical infrastructure inspection, precision agriculture, public safety and defense applications, including long-endurance ISR and search and rescue missions.