Record-breaking hybrid quadcopter flies for over 10 hours
With perhaps a few exceptions, battery-electric multicopter drones typically can’t fly for longer than about 30 minutes. Such is not the case, however, with their hybrid counterparts – one of which recently broke its own endurance record.
Made by Spanish startup Quaternium, the HYBRiX 2.1 quadcopter features a gasoline/battery-electric hybrid drive system that reportedly gives it a flight time of up to four hours per fill/charge – in its stock form, that is.
Back in 2017, the 2.0 model set a world record by remaining aloft for precisely four hours and 40 minutes. This February, an experimental version of the 2.1 model surpassed that figure, going for eight hours and 10 minutes. Now it’s broken the record again, by hovering in place for a reported 10 hours and 14 minutes.
Several enhancements made this possible, with the most notable being an oversized 16-liter (4.2-US gal) fuel tank slung underneath, and the addition of a fuel-injection system to the drone’s 2-stroke engine. Made by Spanish company Löweheiser, the latter system is reportedly small enough that its inclusion resulted in virtually no weight or performance penalties.
In its off-the-shelf form, the HYBRiX 2.1 weighs 13 kg (29 lb), can carry up to 10 kg (22 lb) of cargo or accessories, and has a cruising speed of 50 km/h (31 mph) with a top end of 80 km/h (50 mph).
Its latest record-breaking flight can be seen in the following video.
Dr. Hans C. Mumm