World’s first Hydrogen fuel cell powered Hycopter has been unveiled right now. This has been developed by Horizon Energy Systems (HES) Singapore. The Hycopter contains hydrogen fuel cell powered multi-rotor UAV, and is being readied for a record flight endurance of four hours, or around eight to 10 times the average flight duration of equivalent systems today.
Unlike any other Rotorcraft, Hycopter makes use of its frame structure to store energy in the form of hydrogen instead of air, eliminating energy storage weight. In the case of this platform, the equivalent energy of 3 kg (6.6 pounds) of lithium batteries is stored as 120g (0.26 pounds) of hydrogen. With less lift power required, Hycopter’s ultra-light fuel cell turns 120g gas stored inside its structural frame into four hours of electricity to power its rotors.
Since battery performance limits the effective use of these promising unmanned systems, HES next-generation fuel cell systems improve versatility and open new mission possibilities for smaller low altitude aircraft, typically reserved for larger, higher altitude and more expensive aircraft.