This is the crazy project that kept us busy lately at Quaternium: a hybrid electric+gas multirotor with range extender, inspired by Hybrid cars, such as BMWi3.

Our goal is to overcome the endurance limitations of an electric multicopter, while keeping the multirotor platform we are so enthusiastic about. This VTOL UAV has 2.5 hr estimated flight time with payload, and around 4 hours endurance otherwise.

These are the product specs:



20.0 KG


11.3 KG


7.0 KG


1.4 HR


2.7 HR


80 KM/HR


1350 MM

Why are we working on this?

As you all know, the drone market is only starting. We believe there will be many more  industrial applications emerging soon. With this new project, we seek to go beyond current technology limits and explore new possibilities of application.


What do you think about it? I’d love to hear your comments on this!




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  • No, we have increased the fuel to make this 3hours, are you doing calculations?

    I am absolutely sure than this experience is possible with helicopters. There are helicopters with 2 stroke engines with 6 hours of flight time. I remember to see this number in Cybaero Apid 50 or helicopters like this.

    if you do the math accurately you will see it is possible, the problem is that you have to get all efficiencies in a reasonable values in a very lightweight and it is very easy to get very bad values somewhere in the system.

    The first time I did a test with a generator the results were extremely bad, same when we calculate the consumption of the engine for the first time. The key is to believe in number and not your experience.

  • So this was done on 2.7L of fuel?  What was the AUW not including the fuel?

    Pretty impressive.

  • Jose that is really awesome!

    But please add a electric pusher prop to this config to add another 30% range and higher cruise speed! ;-)

    It's fairly easy to do and well worth it IMHO.

  • Hi mark you have more info here


    Quaternium manufacturer of the first hybrid drone
  • That's awsome! I would love more pictures of your setup, and possibly of your motors/generators, also an uncut video would be nice.

  • Hello all,

    We have been busy these days testing HYBRiX and we have good news!

    Yesterday, we did an endurance test of 3 hours and 10 minutes!!!

    The flight has been done with a full tank and the same configuration of the commercial product that we will be releasing soon. No auxiliary tanks have been used nor have we made a special lightweight version for the test. I leave you a photo of the moment.3702141412?profile=original

  • Thanks, Rob! Now I see. May be a smaller commercial motor will appear some day)

  • Denis, it would be hard to scale down.  That Zenoah is pretty much the smallest gasoline motor you can find.  There are some smaller "hobby" gas engines, but they are in a different class.  They have sleeve bearings, very high power densities, etc.  The Zenoah by comparison is an industrial/commercial motor.  It's designed to run all day every day, with roller bearings in the conrod, low power density, etc.

    So, you could use a hobby motor to make a smaller system.  But it wouldn't be a commercially viable product.  For reference, the OS GT15HZ is a stunning piece of crap, that is destroying OS's reputation.  It's a wonder they still have it on the market.  You wouldn't base any serious UAV effort on this engine.

    So, now given that the Zenoah G23 family is the smallest you can go, why would you start with anything but the new G32?  It's got almost twice the power of the 23, while weighing about the same. So now you've got 2400W of power, you need a generator to harness that.  Now your powerplant weighs about 5kg, and you need some large motors to lift that.

    It just doesn't scale down very well.

  • Great idea!

    I am wondering if it's possible to scale the whole thing down to empty weight of ~ 5kg?

    MTOW ~ 9kg will be enough for a mirrorless camera and several liters of fuel.   

  • IMO it's probably a step forward in order to achieve more endurance and reliability.
    Regardless of the development to be achieved in  batteries development, it seems to me that in this way we can always increase the flight time in bigger quads.

    I really want to see how it evolves. Please, José Luis, keep us updated.

    Buen trabajo

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