Wonderful Engineering

Boeing Patents A Drone That Can Remain In The Air Forever

Drone technology is ready to be unleashed in the world, but one of the main obstacles in its path is battery timing. We are still years away from finding drones that are capable of flying close to the hour mark within a suitable price range. Aerial refuelling just like jet fighters means the drone will have to use a jet engine, which will make it too loud to be in the proximity of buildings and people. So how do we do it? Boeing found the answer to this problem and their new patent focuses on a new way of charging drones in mid-air.

The trick behind this system is simple; Inflatable electric drones. These drones filled with light gas like Helium can be used to keep floating in the air while a retractable charging terminal can be employed to charge the drone to use it for extended periods of time. This charging terminal can be connected to buildings, cars and even aeroplanes too. There is virtually no limit to their flying time as they can remain in the air for as much as they want. The patent took a lot of time in getting approval as it was first tabled in March 2013. But, for all the intellectual property rights, there hasn’t been an actual implementation of this concept, and there has been no word from Boeing regarding it too. Either it is top secret competitive stuff or they just wanted to patent it to maintain a monopoly in this technology. Nevertheless, we would love to get our pizzas and tacos being delivered by these balloons cum drone.

Here is the much-prized patent from Boeing:

See the video regarding the whole concept: