FusionFlight from Texas (USA) announced the smallest and most powerful drone in the world. The model has an index of “AB5 JetQuad” and is able to take off vertically, using rotary jets of engines. The reason for the creation of such a machine was the need to provide compact aircraft with more power than the output of electric motors.
Jet systems have advantages over electric vehicles. First of all, high power. Secondly, the ability to fly at high speeds. Third, refueling with diesel fuel takes only a few minutes against a minimum of one hour of charging in the case of lithium-ion batteries. Liquid fuel contains 40 times more energy per fuel cell mass unit.
The maximum payload of the AB5 is 18 kg at its own weight of 23 kg and the weight of the tank with fuel of 18 kg. This volume of fuel will be enough for 15 minutes of flight at cruising speed of 480 km/h or for 30 minutes of hanging in the air. However, this is a prototype – in the future, the designers want to supply afterburner cameras to increase the flight speed.
Diesel microturbine jet engines with a power of 149 kW. Their rotatable jets have such angles of movement that the jet is never directed downwards, even in vertical flight. This allows the load to be suspended from the bottom of the drone and it remains undamaged.
The launch of the AB5 JetQuad is scheduled for 2021. The cost of one copy will be $200-250 thousand depending on the configuration.