It's been two years since we started with the HYBRiX development!!! Since some months ago we feel that development is finishing and that HYBRiX20 meets almost all the specifications that we said at the beginning.
There are a lot of challenges left to face but right now we have the feeling that HYBRiX20 is ready to do important things.
The problem i see is than this hybrid aircraft is currently doing flights very far from the potential.
We try to do flight hours but we are very small company and our ability are very limited and it is unrealistic that we spend hundreds or thousands of hours to simulate possible applications.
On the other hand our first customers usually are doing R&D projects or demos to their customes and in any case, they fly very few hours.
I see a big risk if we stall here. That is why I would like to find a few initial customers that have applications that perfectly fit the specifications of the hybrid and that need to do heavy work, I mean that they have to fly many hours a day for example.
--- What would be a good application to make hundreds or thousands hours to HYBRiX?
I would like to hear what applications you suggest for this platform!!!
As some of you already know we can fly between 2 and 3 hours according to the payload with a total of 5 liters of fuel.
Jose Luis Cortes
Perhaps try to get some introductions through Randy, as he is located in Japan, which has extensive agricultural spraying with RC helicopters. Though that is a challenging environment, mountain valleys obscuring GPS (so RTK support), extensive overhead wire obstructions (need LIDAR as well as other obstacle detection systems), and certain regulatory restrictions.
Some autonomous obstacle avoidance within the bounds of a flight plan with user defined allowable area restrictions is an 80% solution.
I think with zoomable camera and FLIR this is a platform is perfect for law enforcement. Just recently it cost $6500 to rent helicopter to search for backyard jumper. Live broadcast news it also ideal for long outdoor events. Delivery is a no-brainer when that becomes mainstream. Ag spraying would be applicable beyond 5 lbs of liquid. See if you could get an hour spraying 10 gallons.
Our flight controller can do some pretty amazing things. We have various custom maneuvers built in, obstacle avoidance etc..
Would you like to integrate (our FC and speed controllers) with your craft ?
@Jose Luis Cortes
Yes, My power density caculation is underesimated。
I think power density is a bit more than two times.
I am calculating about 700wh/kg with 5 liter fuel tank
It is 3,8 times the power density if compare with a 16000mAh 6S 10C than have very good power density of about 185Wh/kg.
And more than 5 times if compare with any other standard LIPO batery with 130wh/kg
And this using two stroke and carburated engines
You are right.
The key feature in gasoline/batteries hybrid system is fast refueling and low operation cost, Our system is plug-and-played just like batteries, and it can be used right after refueling. The maintenance period we estimated is about 100 hours, and we have tested continuous 50hours operation without any performance degrade, and we also take efforts in increasing the maintenance interval.
Because the hybrid system uses electric power converted from gasoline, the batteries only provide the addtional transient power demand, as a result the UAV can make manoeuvres but cann't be too sharp.
We have test the maximum speed which is about 54km/hour.
It´s looks interesting for agriculture surveys where you need long flying times but, not always, you have a place to land with an airplane, Big Chinesses companies are not interest in develop agriculture hardware solutions yet, so it´s looks as interesting opportunity for smaller companies; agriculture hardware is expensive in extreme yet because few companies are developing for this area; take in mind guys. ;)
Thats a significant advantage.
The other big advantage of this system is the transportability of the fuel source. In the field
for applications such as survey, search and rescue, its very cumbersome to be charging LIPO batteries.
Sometimes its impossible to charge a large number of batteries.
But with this power source, the fuel can be easily transported to the site and refuelled quickly. What is the re-fuelling, maintenance and setup cycle like ? Can it just be refuelled and flown again ? What about the stress on the motors, ESC's etc ? Do you have any data on this ? Should look at all the customer pain points, not just the endurance.
Also as the fuel gets burned and/or the UAV does sharp manoeuvres , does the changing fuel volume / weight affect the COG or stability ?
I agree with ERIC's viewpoint.
The industrial drone markets are fragmented and need various different progessional solution, big companies such as DJI cann't meet that requirements.
The key issues and features ERIC concerned in our H2 hybrdi system:
1.MTOW is 20kg, so the payload and the fuel total are 7kg, and you can tradeoff between payload and fuel, and the fuel consumption is about 1.5kg/hour.
2.we provide the fuel level gauge sensor and fuel infomation can be collected.
3.The power density is caculated like this, fuel and engine as power module totally weigh 7kg, and outpower is 2kw, endurance is 2 hours, so the power density is 2x2/7=0.57kw/kg, and it is about two times as current LIPO batteries.
I would agree with Hugues that customers want a solution and not the technology. However, I disagree that the only added value comes only from drones producing actionable data. Farmers need more than data, they need their crops sprayed economically. Maybe one day even harvested via UAV technology in certain cases. Search and Rescue teams need to find people via UAV's, deliver emergency supplies, perhaps even perform an airlift one day. The list goes on and on. All of this is not done via just software. Data is only one part of the UAV market. The commercial end of the drone market will be highly specialised and fragmented. Small companies will innovate much faster than larger ones in this market. And as Jose has also discovered, UAV hardware is really hard to do well not like writing a mobile phone app. Making small consumer drones and trying to compete with DJI is suicidal, but the commercial end of the market has lot of opportunities for companies such as this. There are all kinds of specialised UAV hardware emerging to solve different kinds of commercial problems. These markets are too fragmented for companies such as DJI. Eventually the market might consolidate around a few big companies or platforms, but we are many many years away from that.
Some key issues you have not addressed on your website Jose
1) What is the actual payload of your UAV ? MTOW is 20kg, empty is 13kg and payload
is only 2Kg (rest is fuel) ? If payload is only 2kg, thats not a lot for a 20Kg MTOW.
2) How do you show the customer the remaining flight time while in flight ? Do you measure fuel
and calculate, etc ?
3) Show the case for the energy density of the fuel/system you have developed being higher
than LIPO batteries (what is the equivalent weight of LIPO batteries needed ?)