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Wed, 14 December 2022

H3 Dynamics and Carbonix Developing Hydrogen eVTOL UAS in Australia

(14/12/22)  H3 Dynamics and Carbonix have joined forces on the development and production of a hydrogen powered eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

Carbonix, one of Australias leading UAV manufacturers, has extensive experience with advanced composite manufacturing, aerostructure design and sophisticated control systems for vertical and landing capabilities, while H3 Dynamics has been working on hydrogen UAV technology for over 15 years and has just released new hydrogen-electric nacelle technology.

Hydrogen powered systems can increase flight duration by several orders of magnitude when compared to current battery technology, making it an attractive solution for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) commercial drone operators.

Volanti drone from Carbonix. Click to enlarge.
Volanti drone from Carbonix

The hydrogen-enabled range elongation will support Carbonix existing long distance linear inspection applications such as grid lines and pipelines, mining industry mapping and surveying across large expanses of land, much of which relies on the use of expensive helicopters or light aircraft.

H3 Dynamics will integrate its off-the-shelf hydrogen systems to Carbonix's existing fleet of small unmanned VTOL systems (pictured), enabling training and accelerating field experience.

Creating intelligent long range aerial systems enabling reliable and effective access to critical remote data while respecting the environment is key to us, said Philip Van der Burg, Carbonix CEO. We will work with H3 Dynamics to complete the hydrogen value chain for several rapidly growing UAV segments, and to do it much more quickly - right here in Australia.

The Carbonix H2-eVTOL UAV will be first to make use of H3 Dynamics hydrogen-electric nacelle technology.

The patented distributed hydrogen-electric propulsion technology liberates the main fuselage, making room for bigger sensors or more cargo for autonomous delivery covering long distances. The special nacelle system liberates fuselage volume for aerial deliveries, opening up medical deliveries to remote communities in Australia.

Australia will most likely be the first to use commercial electric-powered drones that use hydrogen instead of batteries, in order to fly for many hours at a time and reach those remote locations, or survey much larger areas of land, said Taras Wankewycz, CEO and Co-Founder at H3 Dynamics.

H3 Dynamics unveiled its Australian BVLOS plans with Australia's Ripper Group, just a few months ago. A Carbonix drone operator, Ripper will start with the deployment of fully autonomous drone stations capable of BVLOS operations across multiple sites, in applications ranging from mining to swimmer and surfer protection.

We are convinced unmanned systems are the evolutionary starting point to increasingly large hydrogen powered flight platforms, where testing, certification and regulatory approval challenges vary based on aircraft weight. H3 Dynamics plan is to increase the size of hydrogen air frames every year until we are able to fly passenger-scale aircraft. We want to mature airborne hydrogen technology in todays existing uncrewed aviation markets as a first essential step towards that ultimate vision, added Taras Wankewycz.

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