Hybrid VTOL Fixed-Wing Drone Flies for 2+ Hours

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May 8, 2017 | Originally published by Date Line: May 8 on

The Volanti from Sydney-based Carbonix is a carbon composite drone with a 2.7-m (9-ft) wingspan that uses a multirotor system for VTOL, then transitions to horizontal flight as a push-prop fixed-wing once in the air. It flies for over two hours on electric power or seven with a gas pusher, and Carbonix hopes it will fill the industrial-grade niche in between hobby and military UAV gear.

At this year”s Australian International Air Show, Carbonix displayed its new flagship UAV system, the Volanti. It”s a large, fixed-wing, autopilot-driven hybrid drone that uses quadcopter-style rotors for VTOL, then transitions to horizontal flight using a pusher prop.

The combination allows an impressive flight time of two hours with a decent-sized 2-kg (4.4-lb) payload and fully electric drive, or as much as seven hours for a 6 kg (13.2-lb) payload when the pusher prop is driven by a gasoline engine.