Skyfront claims multirotor endurance world record with gas-electric drone
While their winged counterparts are designed to stay aloft for weeks at a time, multirotor drones are more renowned for their maneuverability. California-based drone manufacturer Skyfront was established in 2014 to push the flight duration boundaries of multirotor drones and is now claiming an endurance world record for its Perimeter 8, which stayed airborne for 13 hours, 3 minutes and 57 seconds, covering 205 miles (330 km) in the process.
With tip-to-tip dimensions of 6.5 x 6.25 ft (2 x 1.9 m) in flight configuration, the Perimeter 8 is powered by Skyfront's proprietary fuel-injected hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain, which the company says replaces the battery to extend flight times by a factor of 20. While the standard off-the-shelf Perimeter 8 has a payload-free maximum endurance of over five hours and range of 110 miles (177 km), the record breaker was fitted with an auxiliary fuel tank to more than double flight time.
"In an unheard of industry feat, our drone stayed aloft for the entire day," says Skyfront CEO Troy Mestler. "Outfitted with an auxiliary fuel tank, the Perimeter 8 captured the sun traversing the sky, rising and setting over California’s Coastal Ranges. This flight signals a paradigm shift in aviation for public safety and commercial applications."
The Skyfront flight beats the Guinness World Record held by South Korea's Metavista Inc, whose hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered quadcopter flew for 12 hours, 7 minutes and 5 seconds in April 2019. That effort absolutely smashed the previous Guinness World Record of 2 hours, 6 minutes and 7 seconds, a record that Skyfront also claimed to beat in 2017 with a flight of 4 hours and 34 minutes by its Tailwind drone. However, no Guinness officials were on hand to document that feat, and there's no word any were present to verify this latest record so there may be no certificate for the Skyfront office wall coming from Guinness for this one either.
Company CEO, Troy Mestler, Ph.D., discusses the record-breaking flight in the video below.