A new, stronger hybrid drone can carry heavy loads for longer periods
Spotted: Most electric drones currently in use can only fly for around fifteen minutes when carrying payloads, while gas-powered drones can fly for longer, but can’t carry heavy cargo. The company Parallel Flight Technologies is hoping to change this by developing commercial drones capable of carrying equipment heavy enough to help firefighters.
The increasing rate of forest fires in hot countries, accelerating alongside global warming, is creating an unprecedented demand for equipment and solutions that are currently being unmet. Fighting these fires usually involves the use of heavy equipment and dangerous flights, but the Parallel Flight Technologies’ hybrid electric drone is capable of carrying heavy payloads for more than an hour – ten times longer than electric drones.
The company, founded by former Tesla engineer, Joshua Resnick, uses parallel hybrid stabilisation technology, adapted from use in the automotive market.
Parallel Flight was initially targeting the wildfire-fighting market, which is growing at around ten per cent per year. The drones will be able to carry heavy equipment such as tools, fuel and food to firefighters in the field. They will also be able to carry water for water drops, saving pilots from risky flights.
Speaking to Springwise, Resnick says the idea for the drone came from the experience of having a wildfire threaten his home and community. He “talked to experts in the field [who were] using drones for firefighting and they told me they wanted to do more using heavy-lift drones, but the tech wasn’t available. So, we put together a team and redesigned drone powertrain from first principles.”