Hybrid drone can fly for over three hours, or carry up to six pounds
Although electric multicopter drones have many potential applications, their 30-minute-or-less battery life limits their actual uses. The gas/electric HAMR hybrid is designed to address that limitation, offering flight times of up to 3.5 hours.
Its name an acronym for Hybrid Advanced Multi-Rotor, the HAMR is manufactured by the Virginia-based Advanced Aircraft Company.
The drone features an electronic fuel-injected computer-controlled 35cc single-piston gasoline engine, which drives an onboard generator. That generator in turn powers the craft's six independent DC electric motors, plus it charges an integrated backup battery. In the event of an engine failure, that battery will provide enough power to safely execute an emergency landing.
As mentioned, the HAMR can reportedly fly for up 3.5 hours on one 100-oz (3-l) tank of fuel, although that figure decreases as the drone's cargo payload increases. It can carry a maximum of 6 lb (2.7 kg) divided between two cargo compartments. If users wish to boost its flight time back up, one of those compartments can be used to house an optional second fuel tank.
The aircraft has an empty weight of 32 lb (14.5 kg), it's 65 inches long by 130 inches wide (1.7 by 3.3 m), and it has a maximum forward flight speed of 25 knots (29 mph or 46 km/h). According to the company, it can be unpacked from its case and in the air within four minutes, subsequently flying either by ground-based remote control or its own autopilot system.
Depending on individual users' choice of added devices (such as an HD camera), the HAMR could be utilized for applications such as surveying/mapping, military reconnaissance, scientific studies, infrastructure inspection or rural package delivery. It can be seen in action, in the video below.
Source: Advanced Aircraft Company