I would like to invite you to join
Hybrid Drone Factory Project

Developing drones powered by electric motors, powered
by gas powered generator, flying as cargo, mounted to the airframe.

I would like to discuss efficiency of such technology

- fuel consumption vs. range vs. total weight

What comes next is subproject

Make Your Chair To Fly

Development of distributed drones, which can be attached to real objects to make them to fly.

Make Your Hybrid Toyota To Fly - another subproject
to turn your small electric car into flying drone

Hybrid Ultralight (Manned Hybrid Ultralight) - another subproject

Hybrid Drone Factory

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  • Design patent ?

    Hybrid power is all about physics.
    Prior art backs to 1900, so hybrid power is not patentable in general.

  • Instead of 4 gas motors, why not take the concept of a Stingray 500 with one gas motor at fixed RPM with direct drive to propellers, and have the variable pitch controlled electronically.

    Much more efficient than converting mechanical energy to electricity, and then back to mechanical energy using electric motors... it seems to me like a lot of energy is wasted just from the conversion.

    Also... I remember hearing that gas motors are most efficient at fixed RPM, so then it's perfect for this situation!

    • Why distribute all the power from a single gas motor to 4, when you can make a much simpler and more efficient system distributing the power to just a single large rotor?

    • So then it's a helicopter...

      The difference is that instead of wasting energy on converting mechanical energy to electricity (plus the added weight of an electric generator), and then back to mechanical energy through the brushless motors, you are connecting the mechanical energy from the gas motor directly to the 4 variable pitch propellers, which are controlled by servo motors individually. So you get the benefits a gas powered for long flight times, and the control of 4 propellers for stability, just like a quadcopter.

  • Great ideas and all of them have been explored to some extent.

    Maybe a good google search will turn them up.
    I do remember someone doing a 2 stroke connected to a brushless motor as generator and was getting good amperage from it.
    That project seemed to fizzle out and I heard no more about it.

    The flying car/chair is now a reality.
    see eVolo and their personal 1 and 2 seat multi rotor.
    I believe they are currently jumping through the hoops for airworthiness certificates.

    And a new one is a totally IC powered quad heavy lift.
    Powered by a pair of 2 cylinder 2 strokes with 4 blade helicopter heads on the arms driven by belt drives.
    This one looks very promising for long duration multi copter missions although I think their development might get taken up by commerce or the military as I have heard no more about it for a while.

    • Thank you Mike for your interest in Hybrid Drone Factory Project.

      I am exactly trying to develop lightweight gas generator made of

      a 2 stroke connected to a brusless motor since factory made gas powered generator are too heavy to fly as payload.

      eVolo (e-Volo) or Volocopter is ultralight manned multicopter (all electric or hybrid).

      What I develop is a small hybrid drone (unmanned model drone) within weight limits set by FAA.

      I started from Hybrid ArduRover model since I have purchased electric car toy and can put 4-5kg gas powered generator as cargo on it and have "heavy" gas powered generator to power up 2 electric motors.

      Since I have no servo for left/right turns I plan to ride it backwards to control turns via PWM (left and right electric motor - front drive).

      Internet is full of great hybrid drone, rover, boat projects.

      I have downloaded a long of electric motors for drone listing weight, power, thrust per watt, thrust force to build gas powered generator showing power and weight to match,

      exceeding thrust force of 4 electric motors mounted to airframe.

      I am aware, I need to test brushless (neodymium) motor, known for its high power/weight factor to reduce payload.

      My friend promised me to set up arduino based pwm controll unit.

      I started with feasibility studies for this project to get to know

      if gas powered generator can fly,

       if the electrical energy generated can power up 4 electric motors with propellers to make it go up in the sky.

    • The 2 stroke to brushless setup is quite straight forward as it is a simple mechanical connection.

      I had talked in the past to some electronic design specialists, who are skilled in power supply design, regarding the conversion of current from the brushless motor to a useable DC current and that's where the problems started.

      There apparently is no cheap, easy, or light solution to this problem.

      So as a direction, or maybe a starting point, I think this is where you might look.
      If you can find a solution to convert the AC from a spinning brushless motor to a good high DC current then the rest is simple off the shelf stuff.
      I would be interested, and a first purchaser, if you could crack 25V at 50 to 60 Amps from a rectification circuit.

      That would be a useful amount of power that could lift the generator and a payload.

    • Thank you Mike,

      you are exactly right about 2 stroke + brushless.

      I was offered 5  x 2 stroke for tests at bulk price, not I need to match brushless, what is not easy since we need 50-100A output current.

      Another issue is nominal RPM of 2 stroke should match nominal speed of brushless to achieve energy parity.

      Another issue is 2 stroke is 2-3 kg + brushless 2-3kg, so 4-6 motors should lift

      about 6-8-10 kg.

      A single motor can lift about 1 kg net payload 

      so I need to have setup for more than 4 motors to get trust to lift setup.

      4 motors x 250w  or 6 x 250w

      so brushless connected to 2 stroke should be > 1000W at nominal speed

      What comes more is a clutch since direct drive can work fine at higher speed

      but it may not be easy to start 2 stroke with pull.

    • Moderator

      pull starting a 2 stroke is straight forward, the issue of the large load is at startup not relavant as the motors will not be started until the generator is running and stable, then the motors would start and the load on the generator would be applied. 

      if you use a higher voltage then the current will be much less.

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