With promises of extended flight times while maintaining high levels of power, hybrid gas-electric UAV systems have become increasingly popular as of late.
With most consumer drones averaging around 30 minutes of flight time, hybrid systems offer significant increases to the flight envelope, allowing flight times of 5 hours or more.
This post explores currently available hybrid-electric drones, some strengths and weaknesses, pricing and more.
Here is our recently updated list (in no particular order)
Hybrid Gas-Electric Drones Available on the Market Today
The SkyFront Perimeter Drone System claims to be the longest endurance hybrid system on the market, boasting a flight time of 5 hours in a hover. It also has a very respectable 12 pound payload capacity and will handle 25mph wind gusts with ease.
In long range configuration the system will travel over 100 miles (170km), a very impressive feat!
Harris Aerials builds a beautiful drone, proudly made in the USA.
Attention to detail is obvious and the company uses nothing but the best materials and processes to craft their machines.
Their systems also have impressive specs to back them up. For example, their H6 Hybrid equipped with the H2400 generator has a maximum flight time of five hours.
They are slated to launch their H6 Heavy Lift platform in the summer of 2020, a system that will comfortably carry 15kg of payload.
Avartek has been manufacturing drones since 1968, well before drones were mainstream. They build aerial platforms for both military and civilian use.
One of their popular models, the Avartek Boxer, handles 2KG of payload and 2 hour flight times. It uses the readily available Pixhawk flight controller and can be equipped with optional retractable landing gear.
The Top Flight Technologies Airborg H8 is the latest release from the company founded by Dr. Long Phan, an MIT graduate and one of the original members of the Draper Aerial Robotics team.
The Airborg H8 has a range of 100km and a top speed of 35mph. They also have proprietary flight management software on board the drone and the option to carry and manage various payloads.
The Quaternium team recently set a world record for flight endurance, keeping they Hybrix UAV flying for no less than 8 hours and 10 minutes!
Built to exacting European quality standards the Hybrix system handles good sized payloads and can be equipped for crop spraying and monitoring. At it’s maximum rated payload the Hybrix can still fly for over 2 hours, an incredible feat of engineering!
Walkera, a name familiar to many RC hobbyists and consumer drone pilots, has a hybrid system called the QL1200.
Without payload and full fuel the system will fly for 90 minutes. It uses the G3EFI power plant and can carry payloads such as long-reach optical zoom cameras, night vision and thermal cameras and much more.
They also use their in house flight software for monitoring and planning the flights of the QL1200.
There are a variety of options on the market when it comes to hybrid gas-electric drones. Is there one you would like to see listed here? Reach us at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to add it to the list!