Awesome Hydrogen Fuel Cell Drone Promises to Solve Range Issues: 4h of Flight

Hycopter 1 photo
Photo: Horizon Unmanned Systems
What’s the one thing you hate most at your newly bought drone that you use to film your weekly off-road adventures? Is it how the wind bothers the flight direction? Is it speed, low-resolution camera or involved controlling system? All these can be solved by buying a better one. What you can’t solve, however, is its range. Now you can.
Whether you’re a motorcycle enthusiast who enjoys uploading his best stunts on YouTube, a road tripper or even an aspiring director, there’s one thing that you most likely dislike at drones and that’s their range. Most of the UAVs available on the market today are using rechargeable batteries that usually offer 20- to 30-minute multi-rotor missions. But what if that time could switch to an up to 4 hours limit?

It’s what Horizon Unmanned Systems are promising with their latest hydrogen fuel cell drone, that they claim it’s the world’s longest endurance of the kind. Unlike other UAVs, Hycopter makes use of its frame structure to store energy in the form of hydrogen instead of air, eliminating energy storage weight.

According to its creator, the ultra-light fuel cell turns the hydrogen in its frame into electricity that powers its rotors. Sure, that top range comes if there is no payload attached. With a 1kg (2.2 lbs) on board, that range goes down to 150 minutes, which is still a lot in comparison to any other drone currently available.

There’s no word on possible retail price, but according to the company, at just $5/kWh for industrial hydrogen, one flight will cost $7.50.

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