Team Builds Fuel Cell Drone In Garage, Makes It Fly

The team is now working on extended flight times.
Fabienne Lang
Before one of its first flights Игорь Негода/YouTube

More and more key players in the transport industry are shifting towards electric power and hydrogen power. 

When it comes to drones flying for extended periods of time on new lithium-polymer battery power, issues of time arise. These batteries have yet to offer as much flight time as regular fuels.

Now, a team has put its members' heads together to try and come up with a hydrogen-based solution for longer drone flight times, per Hackaday. So far, the drone has successfully flown on battery power.


The new drone is 16.4 feet (five meters) wide, with a similar length, so as to accommodate the larger hydrogen tank and fuel cell. The latter are to be used to propel the drone into the air. 

Team Builds Fuel Cell Drone In Garage, Makes It Fly
Flying into the air. Source: YouTube

The drone has a regular brushless motor, and the entire contraption weighs around 13 pounds (six kilograms). It can power itself for a number of hours thanks to its 200 W power.

The team is planning on adding an additional booster battery for short bursts, for instance when taking off.

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Team Builds Fuel Cell Drone In Garage, Makes It Fly
From the garage to the air. Source: YouTube

You'll see from the videos that the drone has already successfully carried out some flights on battery power alone. More work is being carried out to improve the system and make it function for longer and more smoothly. 

Team Builds Fuel Cell Drone In Garage, Makes It Fly
What it looked like prior to taking off. Source: YouTube

The team's latest video can be viewed below, and you'll notice just how far the invention has come since its first attempts in the team's garage. 

The transport industry is shifting in major ways, and this is one grand example. You can also check out world's first hydrogen-electric passenger plane, or this hydrogen-powered double decker bus fleet in Scotland

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