RangePro X8 drone claims 70-minute flight time
Although there are many possible uses for multicopter drones, one thing that's holding the technology back is battery life – typically, the aircraft can't fly for more than half an hour at a time. According to California-based TerraView, however, its new RangePro X8 runs for over 70 minutes per charge.
Designed mainly for industrial applications such as mapping and inspection, the X8 may look like a quadcopter, but it in fact has eight sets of props and motors – two on each of its four arms.
With its high-capacity 24,000-mAh/532.8-Wh lithium-polymer battery included, it tips the scales at a claimed 4.4 kg (9.7 lb). Its mainly carbon fiber construction helps keep that figure down. When not in use, it can be folded up and carried in a backpack.
Once in the air, it's able to manage a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph), automatically avoiding obstacles thanks to a 360-degree array of anti-collision beacons. It's also relatively rainproof (its ingress protection is rated at IP43), and has a 3:1 lift/weight ratio. Of course, as the weight of the payload increases, the flight time decreases.
And speaking of payloads, the X8 can be outfitted with a variety of third-party gadgets, such as gimbal-equipped optical and thermal cameras, along with LiDAR units. It also has its own integrated 4K/30fps video camera, which transmits 1080p real-time video back to the user.
That person pilots the drone in real time via an included radio remote control, up to a range of 3 miles (4.8 km). Utilizing an accompanying iOS/Android app, they can also program it to autonomously follow a predetermined flight path.
We're still waiting to hear back from the company, regarding pricing and availability. In the meantime, the RangePro X8 can be seen in action, in the following video.