Spanish company Quaternium has destroyed its own record for gasoline-electric drone endurance with a 10-hour, 14-minute flight. But how does that stack up against hydrogen and batteries, and what are the implications for the emerging eVTOL market?
Drone endurance records don't make for particularly riveting video watching, but they're an interesting way to keep track of the state-of-the-art in multirotor energy storage and powertrain efficiency. Flight endurance is the biggest technical problem that needs to be solved in order to get eVTOL air taxis airborne in a commercially viable way, and even if the biggest non-technical problem – getting these things certified by aviation bodies – is likely going to be bigger and more expensive to solve, it seems the money's there to make that happen.
So when we received news recently that Quaternium had broken the 10-hour mark with an electric quadcopter using a 2-stroke combustion engine and 16 liters (4.2 gal) of 95-octane gasoline as a range extender, we wondered how that setup compared to electric and hydrogen options. Check out the Quaternium video below.