There’s a new drone flight time world record, and it’s more than 13 hours. At least that’s according to California-based drone maker Skyfront, which claims to have set it.
The company’s Skyfront Perimeter 8 multirotor hybrid drone may have broken the drone flight time world record at 13 hours and 4 minutes, as well as record distance traveled at 205 miles. And, the whole event was documented via the drone’s onboard 360 cameras, which can be seen here in a promotional video made by Skyfront:
The record wasn’t verified by any independent records agencies, though it looks like the drone flight time world record tops the former record, which was verified by the Guinness World Records. That record was made by South Korean company MetaVista (CSACSM), using Intelligent Energy’s 800W fuel cell power, to fly a quadcopter drone flew for 12 hours, 7 minutes and 5 seconds using liquid hydrogen to fuel the module. Prior to that, the official record was a measly 2 hours, 6 minutes and 7 seconds, though in 2017 we also saw an unofficial record from Skyfront’s Tailwind UAV with a four hour and 34 minute continuous flight.
It makes sense that Skyfront would hold such a record, as the Silicon Valley drone maker’s goal is to be the leading manufacturer of long endurance gasoline-electric hybrid drones. The company, which was founded in 2014, make a drone called the Skyfront Perimeter 8, which is a relatively lightweight, 8-rotor drone that uses a proprietary fuel-injected hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain.
“The powertrain replaces the battery and dramatically extends flight times by a factor of twenty,” according to a statement from Skyfront. “It is optimized for power and efficiency and is seamlessly integrated into the unmanned aerial vehicle design to reduce weight and power consumption.”
Long drone flights are more than just a party trick or a way to set a world record; they have real value and unlock new use cases. Plus, they simple save time and improve efficiency, as more missions can now be performed in a single flight, and there’s less concern about the drone running out of power or the operator having to constantly swap and charge batteries.