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This ‘Flying Battery’ Drone Can Fly Two Hours on a Single Charge


If you’re an aerial photographer who’s frustrated with the maximum flight times of the latest drones, you might want to keep an eye on the startup company Impossible Aerospace. It has developed a drone called the US-1 that can fly a whopping two hours on a single charge.

That maximum flight time is roughly five times the 25-30 minute max offered by competitors on the market such as the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. Once drained, the drone can also recharge to 75% in about 45 minutes of charging.

What sets the drone apart is that the whole thing was designed around the battery. The drone itself is essentially a flying battery, as the vast majority of its internal space is occupied by battery cells, which serve as the drone’s primary structure.

“The US-1 has been designed with a battery-first approach,” Gore tells Reuters.

Based in Sunnyvale, California, the company was founded in 2016 by former Tesla battery design engineer Spencer Gore. So far the startup has raised $11 million to bring its endurance drone to market.

Other specs of the 26×26-inch (660x660mm) US-1 drone include a weight of 15.7 pounds (7.1kg), a max payload of 2.9 pounds (1.3kg), a max speed of 42mph, a max flight distance of 75km, integrated thermal and optical sensors, and built-in GPS.

Here’s a 22-second first look video teasing the US-1:

Impossible Aerospace is aiming to ship the first US-1 drones in the fourth quarter of 2018 with a price tag of $7,000 each. The company is initially targeting government and industry customers in fields such as public safety, emergency response, and law enforcement.

(via Impossible Aerospace via Engadget)