Impossible Aerospace has unveiled the US-1, an electric commercial-grade drone with a flight time of up to two hours.
The battery life of the US-1 claims to outperform the average 25-minute single-charge flight time of other drones available today.
The US-1 is the first aircraft designed with a ‘battery-first approach,’ which the company says is necessary to enable electric aircraft to compete with conventionally fuelled incumbents.
The drone is the product of years of development by a team of engineers from Tesla, SpaceX and other companies.
The Californian-based company has already started to sell its first units, equipped with optical and thermal sensors, to firefighters, police departments, and search and rescue teams across the U.S.
Spencer Gore, CEO of Impossible Aerospace, said: “The US-1 is more than just a drone. It’s the first aircraft designed properly from the ground up to be electric, using existing battery cells without compromise.”
He added: “It’s not so much an aircraft as it is a flying battery, leveraging an energy source that doubles as its primary structure. This is how electric aircraft must be built, if they are to compete with conventional designs and displace petroleum fuels in aviation.”
Following the news, Impossible Aerospace also announced that it has raised £7.2m in Series A funding, led by Bessemer Venture Partners.
David Cowan of Bessemer Venture Partners and Greg Reichow of Eclipse Ventures have joined the company’s Board of Directors to help the company scale production for the US-1 and develop future products.