Drones

Extended-range agri-drone wouldn't be limited by batteries

Extended-range agri-drone woul...
The prototype aircraft in flight
The prototype aircraft in flight
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The prototype aircraft in flight
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The prototype aircraft in flight

While crop-spraying drones do have some advantages over full-size piloted aircraft, they're limited by their battery range. Dutch startup Drone4Agro is developing a solution to that problem, though, in the form of a range-extended electric multicopter.

Typically, pure-electric crop-spraying drones have a battery life of no more than about 30 minutes per charge. This means that they have to periodically stop spraying and return to their base for a battery-change. Additionally, in order not to use up their batteries too quickly, they don't carry particularly heavy loads of pesticide or fertilizer – this means that frequent refills are required.

As an alternative, Drone4Agro has built a prototype multicopter that's 6 meters wide (19.7 ft), has 16 propellers/motors, can carry up to 50 liters of liquid, and incorporates a Loweheiser 2-stroke electronic fuel injection engine coupled to an electric generator. That generator in turn provides power to the props' electric motors.

According to the company, the aircraft should require refuelling approximately once every five flights. There's currently no word on when it may be commercially available.

You can see the prototype in action, in the following video.

Source: Drone4Agro

Powerful 50L spraying Drone with Fuel Injection | Loweheiser & Dron4Agro

4 comments
FB36
Why not aim (by law?) to make all farming equipment electric, w/ diesel engine range extenders, so that all farmers can produce their own fuel (bio-diesel) from all kinds of crops/biomass & use (w/o needing to keep buying any fossil fuels)?
Mike Johnson
Good for mood control over the general population too. Load with Soma and quietly damp the mobs down.
michael_dowling
Back to polluting with an ICE engine. At least use biofuel in the thing.
Albert L
Gosh, I have been waiting for a gasoline or diesel-powered drone like this for a long time. I hope the world takes notice so we can hurry up and have practical flying passenger vehicles for getting around town and country. Hurry up, this should be easy!!