Three hour forty three minute fuel cell flight

Montreal, Canada: EnergyOr Technologies Inc., a leading developer of advanced PEM fuel cell systems, recently demonstrated the world’s longest multirotor UAV flight, flying for a record 3 hours, 43 minutes and 48 seconds, improving upon its previous world record of 2 hours, 12 minutes and 46 seconds from March 16 th, 2015.

This demonstration was performed to emphasize the significant potential of EnergyOr’s fuel cell systems to dramatically increase multirotor UAV flight endurance, thereby enabling countless new applications for this type of aircraft. EnergyOr’s CEO, Michel Bitton, stated

“We are proud to maintain our position as the first company to apply hydrogen fuel cell systems to Multirotor UAV applications and to have achieved the world’s longest multirotor flights ever recorded.”

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Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on June 16, 2015 at 4:27am

Cool.  So what was the working payload they were flying with?

Comment by Quadzimodo on June 16, 2015 at 5:06am

Sure this thing is probably balanced right on the knife edge in terms of power density, but the next one they build will no doubt be better.

I wonder what the flight time would be if collecting the water rather than letting it fall.  The AUW of the craft would, in that case, be increasing rather than decreasing - so the difference could be quite significant.

Comment by Hugues on June 16, 2015 at 6:01am

Fuel cells are great. Suprising this took so long to come out as we master such technology for years now, in a very compact form. I remember a canadian company in 2010 who had already marketed small and compact PEM based fuell cells for small homes (and then you can disconnect yourself from the grid, you become your own power producer!). They tested extensively in Japan but then all the sudden we did not here anymore of them. I guess they were too dangerous for the good old petroleum industry and got bought out or otherwise forced to a halt.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on June 16, 2015 at 6:08am

One fuel cell, oh wait...

Comment by David Drysdale on June 16, 2015 at 11:21am

No evil conspiracy Hugues  it just takes more energy to power a fuel cell then you get out of it. So for a house/car other than if the power goes out not much point. But for a quad where you cant just feed them raw power off the grid you have to store it things get more interesting. I think the limiting facture now is fuel cells cost a lot and are very expensive and complex to refuel. But it has been a bit since I looked into it.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on June 16, 2015 at 5:14pm

Yeah, I looked into it a few years ago (2?), at that time, the state of the art, the energy density of the fuel is great, but the problem was the power density of the converter was terrible.  On the scale of... a few hundred watts for a few lbs of converter (before the fuel).  It was never going to work on multirotors.  It would only work on airplanes designed to fly with very little power while carrying a lot of payload (fuel).

Comment by Quadzimodo on June 17, 2015 at 1:03am

The energy density of the fuel itself so good it is pretty much unbeatable - provided you ignore the weight of the requisite pressure vessel.

Imagine what the nuclear solution might look like... It could fly for months, or perhaps (theoretically) even years.  Nasa may even already have a compact design that could be refined for such a purpose.


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