top of page
  • Charl Jooste

Hybrid Drone Shatters Flight Time Record

Image: Quaternium

Drones are constantly improving and evolving at an amazing rate. The drones on the market today are infinitely more advanced than those on the market just 2 or 3 years ago.

Quaternium have sent an amazing new record which illustrates this point perfectly. One of the frustrating hurdles of commercial drone use is short fly times. Entry level drones fly for less than 10 minutes while the better models average around 30 minutes.

People get around this with additional batteries and fast chargers but it limits and slows down many drone applications. Wouldn’t it be great to have a drone that could operate uninterrupted for extended periods?

I am not talking about an hour or an hour and a half. How does 4 fours and 40 minutes sound? Impossible many of you might say. Well, this is the incredible new record hover time set by Quaternium with their Hybrix.20 fuel-electric quadcopter. That’s right, just under 5 hours in the air, simply brilliant.

Flight time has been one of the most significant hurdles in many commercial or humanitarian drone applications. This new development opens up many new possibilities for new or improved applications in the commercial drone field.

The record was set in Valencia, Spain on Christmas Eve 2017. A clock was placed in the foreground and the entire 4 hours 40 minutes was recorded while the clock ticked away.

Sadly, no officials were present for this amazing feat to qualify as a record by Guinness World Records. The current official record stands at 2 hours and 6 minutes. With this record being less than half of what Quaternium achieved, one would assume that they will soon repeat the exercise officially. In fact, the company states that “this is only the beginning”. We can expect even better results in the near future.

The Hybrix.20 drone has a combustion engine and a generator that continuously charges the battery as the drone flies. Think of it as the Prius of the air.

Alicia Fuentes, CEO of Quaternium, says “The potential of hybrid technology for drones is huge. At Quaternium, we believe that we will all be amazed with its evolution in the short term. The hybrid race has just started. I would expect surprising improvements in 2018, not only coming from Quaternium, but from other emerging companies as well.”

This record is a major step forward for drone applications and opens a world of opportunities. Commercial applications such as pipeline or building inspections, farm surveillance and humanitarian drone applications will be infinitely more effective with drone capable of such amazing flight times. It will open the door for new uses and applications that require a drone to fly for extended periods. This is an amazing breakthrough that will only drive the commercial drone industry new heights.

bottom of page