Hydrogen-powered drones could point way to future travel

Business posted on 12/31/2019 2:44:00 PM by Abrahim , Likes: , Comments: 0, Views: 1496

Hydrogen-powered drones could point way to future travel
Hydrogen-powered drones have several advantages over conventionally powered lithium ions ones, says Dr Enass Abo-Hamed of H2GoPower, and could even point way to lower carbon air travel.

The idea of scaling up a drone to carry passengers isn't new. Who among us hasn't gazed up at a DJI Phantom and wished that we could be up there with it, soaring amongst the birds and transmitting data back to China?

Well, batteries are the obstacle standing between us and our glorious LaunchPad McQuack future. Current battery technology would offer limited range in a human-scale electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, even when burdened with only the skinniest of rich people on their way to Montauk. And if you build a machine like that without batteries, that's called a helicopter and it's something that will definitely get you on the naughty list at your HOA when you land it in your backyard.

But Alaka'i Technologies in Hopkinton, Mass., thinks that the solution to this conundrum is hydrogen fuel cells, which allow use of electric motors but offer range and refueling speed more in line with your friendly neighborhood gas station. Its debut vehicle, the Skai, claims about 400 miles of range (or four hours of flight time), with capacity for five passengers or 1,000 pounds, whichever comes first.