Many Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) applications require vertical take-off and landing and very long-range capabilities. Fixed-wing aircraft need long runways to land, and electric energy is still a bottleneck for helicopters, which are not range efficient. In this paper, we introduce the NederDrone, a hybrid lift, hybrid energy hydrogen-powered UAV that can perform vertical take-off and landings using its 12 propellers while flying efficiently in forward flight thanks to its fixed wings. The energy is supplied from a combination of hydrogen-driven Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel-cells for endurance and lithium batteries for high-power situations. The hydrogen is stored in a pressurized cylinder around which the UAV is optimized. This work analyses the selection of the concept, the implemented safety elements, the electronics and flight control and shows flight data including a 3h38 flight at sea while starting and landing from a small moving ship.
- Hybrid unmanned air vehicle
- Maritime unmanned air vehicles
- Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel-cell
- Pressure cylinder