The first in the world hydrogen helicopter was operated by BMPower’s fuel cells
BMPower continues to develop the market of unmanned aerial vehicles, offering solutions based on its own fuel cell power systems, which increase more than 5 times the flight time in comparison with lithium batteries. At the moment, the company is implementing more than a dozen projects for various unmanned platforms.
At the end of August 2018, for the first time in the world, an unmanned helicopter powered by BMPower’s fuel cell power system was operated. The flight duration was over 2.5 hours.
“The uniqueness of this project is that we were able to synchronize the work of the three 1kW fuel cell modules and to ensure the voltage stabilization at the 12S level at the same time. At this time, we have reached 2.5 hours in a hover mode (the most energy-intensive mode) and the average energy consumption was 3.6 kW. We expect that if the helicopter flies at cruising speed, average energy consumption will drop to 1.8 kW, that will increase the efficiency of the power system, and the flight time will be doubled”, said Alexei Ivanenko (Business Development Officer, BMPower)
Characteristics of the hydrogen helicopter: takeoff weight – 30 kg, payload – 5 kg, flight time – 2.5 hours (on lithium batteries not more than 20 minutes), rotor diameter – 2.5 m, cruising speed – 60 km/h, power system – 3,0 kW.
“This is a big project of creating a range of helicopters based on fuel cell power systems. It was only the first step. The project will be continued and in 2019 our partner plans to present a commercial version of his vehicle”, added Ivanenko.