Heavy-hauling drone lays claim to a Guinness World Record
We first caught wind of the Skyf drone around a year ago, and the Russian outfit rolled out some pretty outrageous performance specs to go with it. With a mix of gasoline and electric motors, the massive multirotor drone can apparently carry a 440-lb (220 kg) payload for up to eight hours. Recent demonstration flights in Tatarstan, Russia, didn't see it quite reach these lofty heights, but it did do enough for its creators to lay claim to a Guinness World Record.
The Skyf drone is built to marry the brute and endurance of gasoline engines with the responsiveness and maneuverability of electric motors. This means it uses a 220-hp gasoline engine hooked up directly to the main rotors to lift huge payloads into the air, and then small electric motors at its corners for stabilization and steering.
The company says it has the scope to increase the carrying capacity of its jumbo-sized drone to 400 kg (880 b), with the ability to cover 350 km (220 mi) while it's at it. The drone is designed to carrying all kinds of cargo, for applications that include spraying pesticides on crops, delivering loads to off-shore gas rigs and fitting it out with sensors for search and rescue missions.
But for now it's all about proving its chops. In Tatarstan, the team had the drone lift off with a payload of 100 kg (220 lb) and carry it a distance 100 m (330 ft). This appears to outstrip the efforts of students from the University of Oslo, who set a Guinness World Record for the heaviest weight to be lifted by a remote-controlled multicopter with a 64 kg (134 lb) payload in 2016.
But earning a Guinness World Record isn't as simple is performing an incredible feat and claiming the title. Best case scenario you have an official on-hand to document the event, but in many cases an application with supporting evidence needs to be submitted for assessment. In light of its latest flight, the Skyf team has done just that.
It also plans to set the first five Skyf drones into the sky over Tatarstan next year as aerial crop sprayers, and has hopes of manufacturing 100 of them in 2020.
You can check out the record attempt in the video below.