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New hydrogen-powered drone can perform four-hour flights

Shenzhen Micromulticopter Aero Technology Co., Ltd. unveiled a new hydrogen-powered multicopter called HYDrone-1800 in a product release conference last Sunday. At the conference it was announced that this multicopter can stay airborne for more than four hours at a time.

The compressed-hydrogen fuel cell is the most eye-catching feature of this unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). It has many advantages over traditional lithium batteries that are now widely used in the industry. Advantages include longer flight duration and a longer overall battery life.

Though these fuel cells don’t produce enough power for the propulsion systems of commercial passenger aircraft, they can power smaller, slower vehicles like UAVs. Compared to gas-powered UAVs, the hydrogen-powered ones emit no pollutants and generate less noise.

HYDrone-1800. Photo from 36 kr.

The newly released product does have other features worth noting. It uses a six-axis design, is made entirely of carbon fiber and can carry a payload of up to 25 kg. Apart from precise navigating and positioning, it can also perform image transfers and be controlled remotely at long ranges.

Due to the highly flammable and explosive nature of hydrogen gas, measures have been adopted to guarantee the safe handling of the element for use in the HYDrone-1800, according to Shenzhen Micromulticopter Aero Technology.

The company also added at the conference that the newly-released drone will find an application in sectors including the power, energy and security industries. A sustainable profit model will also be explored for the agricultural field.

Founded in 2009, the company has completed a RMB 40 million (USD 6 million) round of Series B financing led by Shgtong VC.

(Top photo from sowm.cn)

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