The MAVLab laboratory of the Delft University of Technology, together with the Royal Netherlands Navy, has developed a drone with vertical take-off and landing using hydrogen. The VTOL can fly for 3.5 hours and has a number of unique characteristics that make it suitable for military and maritime missions.
The drone runs on hydrogen and batteries, which provide instant impulse transfer to the propellers for good maneuverability and additional power during vertical takeoff and landing.
The drone is equipped with a 6.8‑liter carbon hydrogen tank with 300 bar capacity. From the cylinder, hydrogen is supplied at low pressure to an 800-watt fuel cell, which converts it into electricity. The only emissions are oxygen and water vapor. In addition to the fuel cell that supplies the engines with electricity, there is also a set of batteries that, together with the fuel cell, provide additional power to the engines during vertical takeoff and landing.
The drone has a fixed wing and 12 motors, allowing it to fly horizontally at high speed and land vertically on any surface. The drone weighs 13 kilograms and has a wingspan of 3 meters. It can carry a payload of up to 10 kilograms over a distance of more than 100 kilometers.
According to the developers, the drone is the result of many years of research and development in the field of hydrogen energy and VTOL technologies, and the drone itself can be used for various purposes, such as cargo delivery, mapping and rescue operations.