The draft is all Scottish drone plumber we want to talk about today: his name is Flowcopter and promises performance unattainable by electric models, but will it really be able to become a product that can be used on a large scale? It is too early to say but the team behind the project firmly believes in it.
Flowcopter will be the world’s first hydraulic drone which, instead of the classic brushless electric motors, will use gas motors and pumps calibrated for the purpose, capable of guaranteeing flights of hours and distances of hundreds of kilometers that can be covered in a single section. The project was born taking a step back from the most advanced electrical technologies, which despite the many advantages still suffer from a lower “density” compared to those based on fossil fuels, and this translates into the ability to power engines with lower and higher total weights. walking ability.
But if the electric can’t rival a gas engine like Flowcopter’s, why aren’t there any other similar models or hasn’t the technology evolved in this direction? The reason is simple: while on paper a gas engine like Flowcopter’s could offer far superior performance, this system cannot be controlled with the same precision as an electric one, and this results in marked instability in flight when driving talk about drones. To better understand what we are talking about, watch the first presentation video of this drone.
Flowcopter is not yet able to fly autonomously and the prototype needs several anchors to remain stable in hovering. As mentioned above, if the lack of precise control is less felt on an aircraft such as an airplane, with a quadcopter or hexacopter the problem is emphasized. Some might think that perhaps the simplest solution would have been to use a gas engine to power a generator that powers electric motors, but with Flowcopter you want to try something completely new.
The designers decided to opt for a completely hydraulic management, enhanced by the presence of a digital volumetric pump capable of controlling the flows to the motors with precision and speed, so much so as to approach the precision of an electric motor. The goal is to be able to create a hydraulic motor with great power (we are talking about 129 hp per unit) but with a low weight (just over 5 kg).
Several prototypes have been made and the one visible in the video is already an advanced and promising model, but clearly still far from being able to be used independently. But Flowcopter has high hopes for the project and believes its hydraulic drone model will be able to travel distances up to 900km, or take on shorter flights but with payloads of up to 150kg. Succeeding in this could lead in the future to the creation of autonomous drones for short-range deliveries, capable of operating for many hours without the need for recharging between one leg and another. Speaking of drone trivia, did you know Leonardo Da Vinci’s original drone design has been made into reality?