Ballard and Insitu Team on Fuel Cell-Driven Drone

Dean Sigler Announcements, Fuel Cells, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Another pair of heavy-duty partners, Ballard Power Systems of Canada, normally powering city buses; and Boeing, through its subsidiary Insitu, team to create and fly viable fuel cell systems for drones.  Insitu’s ScanEagle is already a world-beater for range and endurance, but it uses an internal-combustion engine (ICE), that although frugal, is not entirely green. Green Car Congress reports, “ScanEagle is 1.55 meters (5.1 feet) in length, has a wingspan of 3.11 meters (10.2 feet) and [a] maximum takeoff weight of 22 kilograms (48.5 lbs). The UAV can fly at a maximum speed of 41.2 meters per second (80 knots), reach a ceiling of 5,944 meters (19,500 feet),”  and has flown over one million mission hours, making it a leader in …

Aerovel Autonomously Performs Takeoff, Flight, and Landing – Twice!

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

As explained on their YouTube posting, Aerovel’s autonomous flight of their Flexrotor aircraft shows a remarkable level of adaptability and control.  “In what are believed to be the first-ever flight cycles of an unmanned aircraft based on an unmanned boat, Flexrotor launches from a remotely-controlled skiff while underway, climbs out as a helicopter, transitions to wing-borne flight, images the skiff while flying at low and high speeds, transitions back to thrust-borne flight, and retrieves autonomously onboard. The aircraft then shuts down, is automatically refueled and restarted, and repeats the first flight, finally being secured onboard in a docking station.” Aerovel notes that the boat was radio controlled, but the Flexrotor Pandora flew the mission on its own and without human …