Chinese drone manufacturer MMC recently introduced an improved version of its H1-Fuel Cell, a standalone power solution that is compatible with a wide variety of drone manufacturers including market-leader DJI. The second generation H1-Fuel Cell provides nearly four hours of flight time while allowing for operations in extreme weather conditions. Most quadcopters, which are usually powered by Lithium-polymer or Lithium-ion batteries, have flight times of around 15 to 20 minutes.
MMC has invested heavily in the development of hydrogen powered drones in a quest to provide a solution to the UAS industry’s struggle with short flight ranges. Current industry efforts for long-range UAS have mostly centered around less dynamic fixed-wing aircraft.
MMC currently offers two hydrogen powered quadcopters: the professional-grade HyDrone 1550 and the military-grade HyDrone 1800..
The drone-agnostic H1-Fuel Cell serves as a way for MMC to broaden its appeal independent of its current selection of proprietary hydrogen-powered drones. The ability to strap the H1-Fuel cell onto the DJI Matrice and other drones provides MMC with alternative penetration into the DJI-dominated UAS market.
As the transition to beyond line-of-sight operations (BLOS) begins to intensify, demand for long-range drones will only increase. However, regulatory stasis on the BLOS issue is hampering the adoption of long-range UAS hurting the bottom lines of MMC and other companies who invested in long-range UAS technology.
In response, MMC has shifted to the military market with the introduction of the HyDrone 1800 in February.
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