UK-based 5kg payload project breaks 60 minute flight time target


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.

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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.”

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Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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