World's First Hydraulic Hybrid Multicopter Can Carry 330 Lbs, Stays in the Air for Hours

Flowcopter Hydraulic Hybrid Drone 6 photos
Photo: Flowcopter
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We’ve come a long way with drones powered by electric motors and batteries, but they are still limited in capabilities, payload, and range. A U.K.-based company is working on changing that and claims it’s developed the world’s first hydraulic hybrid multicopter, boasting some insane specs.
Flowcopter is based in Scotland and wants to revolutionize the heavy-lift drone industry with a game-changing UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) designed for harsh offshore environments.

The problem with electric drones is that they can’t put in hundreds of offshore miles without requiring a support vessel, with most of them being way too fragile for extreme conditions. The Flowcopter hydraulic hybrid multicopter is nothing like that, as it was designed to help helicopter operators optimize freight, surveying, and search & rescue operations, as explained by the developer on its website. It can also be used for other applications, such as deliveries, law enforcement, agriculture, to name just a few.

At the core of the heavy-lift drone lies the company’s patented transmission technology with a new type of digital displacement pump, making this drone a stable, reliable, long-range workhorse no matter the conditions it has to cope with.

The hydraulic motors that make the propellers spin can produce up to 129 hp each while maintaining a weight of just 12 lb. (5.4 kg). The motors are completely sealed.

Now for the mind-blowing capabilities of the Flowcopter drone, the manufacturer claims its UAV can fly for over six hours, up to 900 km (560 miles) before it needs to be refueled. Getting the drone ready to take off again takes only a few minutes.

As for the payload capacity of the heavy-lift drone, Flowcopter says it can carry up to 150 kg (330 lb.), although with such loads, its range will, of course, be shorter.

The manufacturer already has a functional prototype of the drone and it’s constantly conducting test flights, although just tethered for now. You can see some of them in the videos below. We are yet to be told when the heavy-lift hybrid drone might hit the market or how much will it cost.

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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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