We don’t hear news about brand new drones with 2-hour flight times every day – but today seems to be a day just like that, with startup Impossible Aerospace announcing their new electric quadcopter drone that it says can stay aloft for two hours – roughly four times as long as other electric drones.
After getting funded with $9.4 million in its Series A funding, this drone still remains a concept – but apparently companies like Airbus and two Silicon Valley venture firms are confident that it can change the way we see drones.
“A Flying Battery” – Or The Longest-Performing Drone So Far?
On the other hand, Impossible Aerospace is a small California-based company that says it achieved dramatically longer flight time through techniques consisting on change in the lithium ion battery structure and adding new elements that will supposedly cram more battery into the drone without changing any aspect of its flight.
The CEO of Impossible, who previously worked as a battery engineer at Tesla, has confirmed this. Spencer Gore has always had bigger ambitions.
Asked about the battery of this drone, he says, “It’s not so much an aircraft as it is a flying battery.”
Gore believes that he can scale up to make longer-range electric passenger aircrafts – all thanks to this battery. Optimized for persistence in hovering flight mode and surveillance, the new drone by Impossible Aerospace has a maximum 4.4 payload of optical or thermal sensors, giving it an ability to stay in the air for 90 minutes.
US-1 Aims At Government And Law Enforcement Officials As Its First Customers
Currently, the company founded by Gore is aiming at government, fire and search, rescue and law enforcement officials as its first customers. Named US-1, the drone will be manufactured in the United States which is another factor that could make it compelling to the US authorities who are concerned about the security of data that is collected by the Chinese drones dominating the market right now.
Analysts agree that if Impossible Aerospace can achieve this flight times with a payload, it would be an impressive step that will position the company well. Customers, on the other hand, are always looking for a drone alternative that can stay longer in the air and add up to the $300 million marketplaces that drones are set to establish over the next 9 years.
The price of Impossible Aerospace’s US-1 drone will start at $7,500 for the base model – and $9,500 for the thermal drone package without a camera. With this, it is evident that this drone model is way more expensive than its (Chinese) competitors – but again one that changes many things in the UAV space and paves the way for further development.