RC Airship as Drone

We've been developing this RC airship over the past two years. Features include 1 hr Endurance, 3-5 amp battery, 400g payload, camera gimbal, FPV, Low vibration, crash survivable, Helium recovery
and storage after each day of use.

Some videos:

Welcome to the LED - Long Endurance Dronehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMPtHGWouNQ
Brushless gimbal - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sqCBWNohug
Servo gimbal and MFD controller - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3glE5syuCI
Over snow - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joLNCG17uPU

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  • Nice idea, but should probably be a little bigger to be really useful : several RC planes (with autopilot) can already fly more than one hour and more than 100 km.

    But anyway, it's always cool to see creative projects and ideas such as this one.

    Did you consider using hydrogen ? I know it's more risky, but has other advantages in terms on onsite production, twice the lifting power of helium, environment friendly (not a limited resource) etc.

    Regarding the risk, from what I've read pure hydrogen doesn't explode strongly (as oxygen + hydrogen would), but burns more slowly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQvpK9cl0No

  • Moderator

    I did some research on these 3 years ago with the idea of using it for a specific project, found some 5m, 6m or 8m, etc, long versions in the far east that could handle 45km/h winds (critical for this project), could carry a reasonable payload and had a rudimentary flight controller. Ardupilot also used to have an ArduBlimp branch but this was for small hobby style blimps.

    The drawbacks are: expensive, finite helium supply, the envelope leaks helium all the time and has to be dynamically balanced, helium may need recovery equipment, large ones are cumbersome and no practical full autopilot system although ArduPlane could maybe be made to have some control.

    Advantages are: VTOL, can carry some weight, can "hover", can be very economical on power and almost silent (electric).

    Martin, great project, best of luck!

  • Awesome!  These have great potential for research uses.

  • MR60

    That is great. What autopilot is it?

  • For all practical purposes and given how the word is now used pretty much everywhere, a drone is an aerial robot, imho. This is definitely one.

  • What actually you mean by "Drone" ?

    What flight controller it has ?

    what flight mode does it supports ?

    Any failsafe ?

    15mph wing resistance seem over optimistic for this huge body and large drag.

  • Arduplane, Arducopter, Ardurover,  Arduboat, Ardusub, Arduzeppelin?

  • Hi Martin, very cool and original! What flight controller do you use?

  • 10-15 mph max seems very dubious. Both the cross section and surface area are huge compare to an airplane or a multirotor.

  • How is this qualify as a blog post worthy of posting on the front page...

This reply was deleted.