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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles powered by LiPo batteries (Lithium Polymer cells) usually have a limited endurance. The normal battery drone can fly only 10 to 30 minutes. However, surveying, mapping, power line inspection, police, search rescue and many other industrial level applications require much longer endurance. In fact, endurance is one of the key requirements of industrial drones. A Chinese hybrid drone recently achieved 7.3 hours world record endurance.
It was a Hexa multirotor with 20kg all up weight powered by a hybrid system.
The hybrid drone named ‘Owling’ is equipped with a hybrid system provided by Richenpower. The H2 Hybrid System removes numerous challenges for UAV uses. A normal configuration provided by customer demonstrates 2.5+ hours with 1 gallon of gasoline (3.7 liters), according to richenpower.com.
The generator and battery dual power: The battery is the backup power for the Hybrid system. In the case of engine failure, the battery seamless handovers automatically and provides power for landing. Dual power design avoids a huge loss and more reliable than a parachute.
The drone hybrid system has a high-efficiency AC-DC algorithm.
Uasvision.com notes that in December 2017, Spain’s Quaternium claimed a new world record for the endurance of a multi-rotor UAS. The four-hour, 40-minute drone flight was conducted using its HYBRiX.20 fuel-electric quadcopter.