World's First Wind-Powered Drone Could Eventually Stay Up Forever

XAir's fixed-wing drone can fly for hours on wind power alone 1 photo
Photo: XAir Unmanned Aerial Systems via Venture Beat
In case you’ve had the pleasure of watching Christopher Nolan’s epic science film Interstellar you might’ve noticed that Indian drone Matthew McConaughey catches and then uses it to harvest his crops. The unmanned aerial vehicle was autonomous and was powered by sunlight. Well, it appears there’s a even better drone under development that could allegedly fly forever strictly using green energy.
A new Newport Beach, California-based company named XAir is claiming they have found a way of to create a UAE robot that could act similar to an old school sailing ship. It’s reportedly using the wind power to charge functions and up to certain conditions could became completely energy-independent. Add a couple of small solar panels and it could become world’s first wind-powered drone that can fly forever.

This would certainly turn this company into the favorite drone maker in the world in about two minutes after the official launch of the first functional prototype. Why? Well, imagine that all these new commercial drones (that spring up like mushrooms after the rain) suffer from mainly the same downside: a short battery life. Sure, some last longer than the average 20 minutes, but this implies a bigger price or higher weigh.

According to the company’s founding engineer Seshu Kiran GS, the XAir got its drone prototype to fly for more than two hours with no observable battery drain. Moreover, the scientist told Venture Beat that with the right kind of wind it could fly indefinitely. The drone’s creator added that there is a big demand for the wind-powered drone since any current long-haul aerial mission means bigger batteries which reduce the craft’s safety and it’s efficiency.

So far, the company has created a 24-ounce (680 g) prototype that they believe is the best size because it wouldn’t be an expensive loss if it crashed during testing. It currently features electronic controls, wind-speed sensors, a dedicated micro-computer and software that together analyze and leverage the direction and dynamic components of wind during flight.

Still no word on a possible release date or price, but we’re pretty sure those who are interested we’ll keep close to the company’s next move and so will we.
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