BlueBird Aero Systems, Horizon unveil world's first commercial fuel cell UAS

  • 12:00 AM, August 7, 2009
  • 4136
Developed by BlueBird Aero Systems and powered by Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, the world's first long endurance, commercial hydrogen fuel cell powered Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) named "Boomerang" will be showcased as one of the top innovations at this year's upcoming AUVSI conference in Washington, D.C. Horizon will also display its brand new AEROPAK, a new self-contained 2kg fuel cell power system able to deliver 900Wh, which can increase the flight endurance of small and stealthy UAS by as much as 300 percent. Unmanned aircraft are used in a variety of military, homeland security and civilian applications. The unique ability to perform long endurance missions with a mini UAS, as presented by BlueBird's Boomerang, is a great benefit especially for border patrol, infrastructure surveillance, critical assets and environmental monitoring missions. BlueBird's "Boomerang" is a field-operational 9kg electric powered UAS which is now able to fly for over nine hours using Horizon's high performance hydrogen-electric power system. BlueBird Aero Systems concluded a three-year effort to integrate the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology into a specially designed UAS, developing support systems like hybrid capabilities for system power redundancy, fuel-cell cooling mechanism and more. The fuel cell-powered UAS is already licensed for flights in Israel and is graded as a "matured" system.
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