Drones

140-mph quadcopter has designs on first responders

140-mph quadcopter has designs...
The Recruit drone is geared towards users such as fire departments, police forces and the military
The Recruit drone is geared towards users such as fire departments, police forces and the military
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A company representative tells us that production has started, with first deliveries expected to begin at the end of this year
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A company representative tells us that production has started, with first deliveries expected to begin at the end of this year
The Recruit has a claimed top speed of 140 mph (225 km/h)
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The Recruit has a claimed top speed of 140 mph (225 km/h)
The Recruit drone is geared towards users such as fire departments, police forces and the military
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The Recruit drone is geared towards users such as fire departments, police forces and the military
A fleet of military-spec Recruits
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A fleet of military-spec Recruits
A police-spec Recruit drone
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A police-spec Recruit drone
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If there's one thing that all types of first responders have in common, it's the fact that they put a premium on speed. The Recruit quadcopter was created specifically for such users, as it can reportedly fly at over 140 mph (225 km/h) and has a claimed 3-hour flight time.

Designed by Atlanta-based drone manufacturer Sonin Hybrid, the carbon fiber-bodied Recruit appropriately enough has a hybrid power system. More specifically, it incorporates a gasoline engine hooked up to a generator, which in turn continuously charges the batteries for the four electric motors.

It is this setup that is said to make the long flight time and energy-hungry high speeds possible. By contrast, pure-electric quadcopters such as DJI's Phantom 4 Pro typically top out at about 30 minutes of flight time, and a maximum forward speed of 45 mph (72 km/h).

A police-spec Recruit drone
A police-spec Recruit drone

Along with its hybrid tech, some of the Recruit's other features include a gimbal-stabilized 4K/30fps camera with 30X optical zoom; fixed and mobile target tracking; a FLiR night-vision camera; a 6,000-lumen spotlight; a loudspeaker that's audible up to a distance of 5 km (3 miles); retractable landing gear; and a choice of red/blue, red/white or yellow/white flashing LED lights.

The aircraft can be remotely controlled in real time, or it can autonomously follow a preprogrammed flight path.

A company representative tells us that production has started, with first deliveries expected to begin at the end of this year.

Source: Sonin Hybrid

View gallery - 5 images
5 comments
BlueOak
Interesting that the maker determined the added weight of a gasoline engine plus the fuel to power it + the energy losses from converting its output to electricity + the losses of using that electricity to then charge the batteries results in a higher net usable energy density (lower weight) vs. bigger/more batteries. Fossil fuel wins again?
GregVoevodsky
Now this looks more like a cool police or military drone! Why not add some Apocalypse Now music with speakers, plus some tear gas and pepper paint ball gun for the armed rebels. Better yet, send a swarm of 100 units and the riots or enemy terrorists will retreat in no time!
toni24
For first respnders hell, we can use one just to get out during winter
Doug Lightsey
BlueOak - Great observation. I wonder what the range and speed would be if you just removed the batteries? One thing to remember is that the quad set up requires 4 DC motors with circuitry. You can't feasibly do this mechanically. There are also increases in the efficiency of a ICE that set up only at one speed (RPM) to charge. I had a project where I tried to convince folks that you could put a small generator (say HondaES3000is - electric start) in the truck with 3 gallons gas for an electric car. You have emergency power, added range, could charge on it's own if you left the car, etc.
ljaques
Sounds outstanding, and likely starts at 5-digit prices.