Drones are all the rage now, and I feel certain that this technology will lead to a new breed of personal aircraft that will lead us to where past developments have failed (I’m looking at you, non-existent personal jetpack.) But Flowcopter’s drone technology is a little different. The driving force is not independent motors, but rather hydraulic in nature.
The Hydraulic System
The hydraulic system to drive the individual lifting motors will be somewhat bulky, certainly. But when you consider the weight of the typical lithium battery pack, suddenly the numbers make sense. And the hydraulic motors themselves are actually well suited to the task. Each 12 pound motor being is able to generate up to 129 horsepower of potential lift. Flowcopter’s unique design gets around the typical lack of control finesse in a hydraulic design. It uses a “Digital Displacement Pump” to minutely regulate the power feed. As a result, they claim that it rivals the precision offered by direct electrical motor control while simultaneously providing a lot of power for the lift.
Gas Powered for Range
The flying vehicle uses a gas engine to provide the hydraulic pressure to make everything work. That fact is the key to its long range. Properly configured, flights of 6 hours and crossing 900 kilometers are possible with the new vehicle type. And for shorter distances, the device can readily haul up to 330 pounds. This capability makes it an idea platform for deliveries. And, I might say, perfect as a personal vehicle of sorts. I mean, who wouldn’t want a hydraulic powered flying drone that you just need to fuel up and take off on for a jaunt?