Flowcopter, a Scottish firm, claims to have created the world’s first hydraulic drone. Instead of batteries and electric motors, the drone employs pumps and gas engines to provide up to six hours of flight time.
The company claims that the drone is substantially lighter, faster, and less expensive than any other drone now on the market, and that it also covers a greater distance.
Most drones today employ electric motors or hybrid gas propellers with an electric-powered lift system, according to a research by Gizmodo. Electric motors make it easier to manoeuvre, but they make it more difficult to operate huge things, such as drones with four or more propellers that need to be adjusted for wind, direction, and gravity on a frequent basis. Batteries are also required for electric motors.
Flowcopter developed a new approach of employing hydraulic motors to power drones to tackle this problem.
Flowcopter uses a Digital Displacement Pump, a new type of hydraulic pump that is highly effective and has superior control of independent motors, allowing for simple altitude adjustments. In comparison to the best electric motors on the market, the pump’s most crucial feature is its superior power-to-weight ratio.
The pump supplies a liquid fuel-powered “light-aircraft certified engine” that features 20x the energy-to-weight ratio of the best battery technology available.
The Digital Displacement Pump, in conjunction with the engine, helps manage the hydraulic fluid, allowing the drone to fly over long distances with ease.
Each hydraulic motor has a horsepower rating of 129 and weighs less than 5.4kg.
The business claims that the drone can fly for up to 6 hours without refuelling, travelling nearly 900 kilometres and carrying up to 150 kilogrammes.
The drone may also transition to a non-gliding flight mode throughout the 6 hours of flight, allowing its propellers to rest and reducing fuel usage.
According to Flowcopter, the drone will mostly be utilised for short-range delivery. However, if necessary, the drone can be outfitted with a camera that can cover greater distances.