Electric Drone Hits 26-Hour Non-Stop Endurance Record!

A new type of electric, fixed-wing drone recently achieved a world record for time in the air within the group-2 fully electric category. The flight shows what combat support by electric drones could look like, as the Defense Department works to connect more hardware under increasingly difficult conditions. As reported by Defenseone.com, the 16-foot-wingspan drone, dubbed the K1000ULE Rev-P, from Kraus Hamdani Aerospace, or KHA, completed a non-stop 26-hour flight under continuous thrust last week while carrying a full motion video payload and milspec radios. It’s a world record for an electric drone in its size and weight category. The claim, verified by flight records, was independently observed by Mari Kooi of the tech advisory Gothams, which has no financial stake in KHA.

The design uses a high-aspect ratio wing that optimizes gliding efficiency with minimal loss of altitude.  The K1000ULE Rev-P incorporates AI-based biomimicry that reduces the need for thrust to 10-20% of the time the sailplane is airborne, and this also provides surplus energy that is stored for flight through the night hours. A key design element is onboard “GPU-enabled edge computing.” Graphics processing units (GPUs) perform parallel processing and are used in a wide range of air, land and sea applications that entail graphics and video rendering. GPUs are becoming more popular in artificial intelligence (AI) applications across the board. Edge computing is computer processing that takes place at or near the physical location of the source of the data, which minimizes delays in computer processing. Photos courtesy of Krause Hamdani Aerospace and Defense.com.

Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com, and Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, alexander technical[at]gmail[dot]com, for their assistance with this report, the background for which appeared in their  # 21 - 19 - 1 AUGUST 2021 edition of the UNMANNED SYSTEMS NEWS (USN).

David distributes the USN, a free, comprehensive newsletter in PDF format every week or two, as well as serial news flashes, from which this NREF news update was sourced. To be included in his distribution, simply send David a subscribe request to davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com.