Hydrogen Quadcopter set to be next big thing
Drone manufacturer MMC, a global leader in industrial and military drones and developer of the first hydrogen quadcopter, has introduced the next generation of its hydrogen technology at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (Idex 2017), which opened in Abu Dhabi today (Feb 19).
The HyDrone 1800, designed for the military, is expected to be a big draw at the show. MMC is showcasing the product together with CATIC at the exhibition.
The carbon-fiber HyDrone 1800 is an almost indestructible aircraft. Designed for use in the toughest conditions, the drone is wind-resistant, rain-resistant, cold-resistant and still incredibly lightweight. Most importantly, HyDrone 1800’s hydrogen fuel cell technology provides a flight endurance of four hours or of a stunning 50+ hours when combined with MMC tethered technology, said the company.
The endurance of the hydrogen drone changes the scope of applications dramatically: most industrial or military drones currently on the market are limited by flight times of under 1 hour. HyDrone 1800 achieves the extended flight time while maintaining altitude limits of 4,500 m– competitive or better than other similar sized aircraft– and a payload capacity of up to 5kg, it said.
Hydrogen fuel cell technology is a breakthrough for drones. The technology is an environmentally friendly solution towards a drone industry bottleneck: flight endurance. Constructed for safety and durability, an auxiliary lithium battery starts the fuel cell and provides a backup source of power for the drone. The properties of hydrogen fuel not only allow for extraordinary flight time, but extend the ideal temperature range for operation. Hydrogen drones can be flown in extreme temperatures– from -10 deg Celsius to 40 deg Celsius, the company said.
” This technology is the next step forward for military grade drones,” says MMC’s founder Lu Zhi Hui. “It’s safe, it’s effective, it’s proven– and the endurance is unmatched by other power sources. ”
Payloads can be changed quickly and easily. Operators may choose from payloads including a thermal imaging camera, low light camera, laser equipment, or zoom camera; making the system ideal for many military applications. HyDrone 1800 can be used for intelligence gathering, border patrol, aerial fire support, laser designation, or battle management services to tactical military operators. MMC also offers packaged solutions in target acquisition and reconnaissance technology (ISTAR), it said. – TradeArabia News Service
Some other hydrogen drone prototypes: