The vast Majority of quadcopters and other drones nowadays are battery powered. Although it provides a stable flight, their flight endurance limitations leave a lot to be desired. Normally, these crafts last about twenty-five minutes in the air before they have to be charged at a power terminal. So, alternative fuel must be considered to give them longer duration flights. This Hydrogen powered quadcopter “hycopter” will have a nice long flight endurance of four hours once it is completed.
The copter is being developed by Horizon Energy Systems, and they want to demonstrate the effectiveness of Hydrogen as drone fuel. In an astute design, the copter can store 120g of Hydrogen gas in its structural tubing thereby eliminating the need for a separate storage tank for the fuel. The pressure of the gas is 350 bars.
In the structural model, these Hydrogen containing tubes are made of Acrylic, but the actual prototype being developed by the Horizon will have a polymer lined 5mm thick Carbon fiber. The Hydrogen will be sufficient enough to carry the same energy as a 3 Kg Li-ion battery. The power is generated from a hybrid fuel cell made of Lithium. The overall weight of the Hycopter will be around 5 Kg, and a payload of 1 Kg can be attached to it. The payload can be adjusted on the aircraft in order to provide balance while flying.
The copter is almost ready to go, and it will perform a maiden flight later this year. There are many interested in the development of this long-lasting drone, and the company is currently taking pre-orders and calculating the financials. A final price will be determined soon.