A start-up Bad Pyrmont has come up with something special for the drone market: a model with a combustion engine. The quadrocopter Yeair should be able to stay in the air for up to an hour and reach a top speed of 100 km/h. That's something to be proud of: The Yeair drone stays in the air for an hour, reaches a top speed of 100 km/h and a range of 55 km. It can also transport a load of 5 kg. Values where the competition has to dress warmly. Commercially available multicopters such as the DJI Phantom stay in the air for only 20 minutes and fly at just under 60 km/h.
"The problem with today's quadrocopters is simple: They are technically mature, but don't have enough power," says inventor Holger Willeke from the start-up airstier in Bad Pyrmont in Lower Saxony. Yeair is the first quadrocopter to combine electric and combustion engines. "The result is more power, speed and a longer maximum flight duration."
Two-stroke 10 cm3 petrol engine.
Under each of the four rotors is not only a conventional 600 W electric motor, but also a two-stroke petrol engine with a displacement of 10 cm3 and an output of 1.6 kW. While the electric motors draw their energy from a 1250 mAh lithium polymer battery, the combustion engines use a 1.5 liter tank. It is filled with a two-stroke fuel mixture of petrol and oil at a ratio of 25:1. Incidentally, the battery does not have to be plugged into the socket. It can be charged by the petrol engines during the flight.
If the pilot wants to fly particularly agile and at high speeds, he uses the electric motors. If, on the other hand, he wants to transport heavier loads, the petrol engines with 12,000 rpm are used. They provide stronger and more consistent performance, allowing the 900×750mm drone to lift an additional 5kg into the air on top of its own weight of 4.9kg.
Hybrid concept makes flying much more flexible.
The engineers have given the drone all sorts of additional functions: Yeair has a retractable and extendable landing gear, LED position lights and integrated WLAN that connects the drone to a smartphone or tablet within a radius of 100 m. It should even be possible to use the tablet to program a route that the drone flies autonomously.
The German engineers have long since made a name for themselves on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter: Their goal was 70,000 euros in order to be able to go into series production with Yeair. In the meantime, supporters have invested more than 113,000 euros in the project and the campaign is still running for 33 days. Fans can secure a copy for 1399 euros. airstier plans to deliver in May 2016.