Project RACHEL has beaten its original test flight target of 60 minutes with a 5kg payload.
Supported by Innovate UK, the team involved in the trialling hope the flight can help set a new benchmark for flight time and payload in the commercial UAV industry.
The UAV, which is powered by an Intelligent Energy lightweight hydrogen fuel cell power module, achieved a 70 minute continuous flight time, a feat the team was proud of.
Led by venture engineering company Productiv on behalf of BATCAM, the project is expected to be completed in early 2019 with BATCAM carrying out real-world end-user trials.
Jon Hurndall, CEO of BATCAM, is looking forward to what the project has in store in the future.
He commented: “I congratulate all partners on this fantastic achievement. It is great to see product innovation and continued development with hydrogen fuel cells for UAVs. These represent a viable alternative to Lithium Polymer batteries which are not only difficult and costly to transport internationally but largely inefficient in comparison to hydrogen.
He added: “A 60-minute-plus flight time with a large payload creates many opportunities, not only with our existing broadcast clients but in other commercial markets and sectors. We are eager to explore these opportunities in 2019.”