Sponsored by The British Robotics Seed Fund
29 Dec 17. Quaternium Claims New World Endurance Record for Multi-Rotor UAS. Spain’s Quaternium is claiming a new world record for the endurance of a multi-rotor unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The four-hour, 40-minute drone flight took place in Valencia, Spain, on Dec. 24th using its HYBRiX.20 fuel-electric quadcopter for the record flight. The HYBRiX.20 was designed by Quaternium in 2014, and its first model was built in 2015.
The configuration of the unit for this test replicates a commercial configuration with 20kg MTOW, 400 g payload and 5 liters of fuel. The video shows the entire flight time provided by the fuel until the combustion engine stops. Then, HYBRiX lands on electric-only mode, using the energy from the battery. This is a test for demonstration purposes only, though. Running out of fuel is not advised for commercial applications.
HYBRiX.20 is a unique long-endurance RPA that empowers aerial service providers all over the world to perform their missions faster than ever before. (Source: UAS VISION)
29 Dec 17. New Home for Avidrone. In recent years. Avidrone Aerospace had been flying under the radar. The Breslau-based industrial drone manufacturer was focused on research and development, keeping much of its work under wraps as the company created its own autopilot electronics and flight control software.
“We were working quite stealthily,” says founder and chief executive officer Scott Gray.
But a seed investment from Japanese firm Prodrone this fall and a subsequent move into the large Chartright Air Group hanger at the Region of Waterloo International Airport have prompted Avidrone to fly out of the shadows.
“Moving here is really the unveiling of Avidrone Aerospace,” Gray says of the firm’s new address. “It’s visibility that we really exist.”
Previously, employees were using a different facility at the airport, or working remotely. The new space brings everything under one roof.
Gray founded Avidrone Aerospace about a decade ago as a business that managed his interests in the radio-controlled aviation world. A national champion many times over, Gray competed on the international circuit and conducted demonstrations on behalf of sponsors. He’s also a licensed commercial pilot as well.
That background — combining the knowledge of manned flight and the experience in the radio-controlled world — put Gray in a unique position to pursue the emerging drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), industry.
With a team that’s eight strong and growing, Avidrone designs and manufactures automated commercial drones suitable for a host of purposes ranging from delivering packages and carrying cameras to agricultural and military applications.
“We can custom-tailor it really to what the end user needs,” Gray says.
The drones also feature the company’s proprietary autopilot flight control technology, which can also be incorporated into other systems.
“It’s very organic flight logic that we developed,” says chief fabricator and UAV specialist Geoff Gurr. “A pilot’s manual skill has sort of been turned into software code.”
Gray says the company has technology within its flight control that enables the drone to be operated beyond the line of sight. “That’s really the future of what we’re able to do,” he says.
Avidrone’s temporary digs at the Chartright hanger — its custom office and shop space there should be complete in the spring — are full of drones of all shapes and sizes.
“We call it our Skunk Works,” Gray says, a nod to the name given to aerospace giant Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs.
There are single-rotor vehicles that look like miniature helicopters and ones with six or eight rotors. There are small quad copters weighing just a couple of pounds, and a long, narrow tandem-rotor drone that can take to the skies with a gross weight of up to al