Horizon’s Fuel Cell Triples Flight Duration Capability of South Korean Close-Range UAV

Posted: 11/08/2010
Horizon Energy Systems
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Singapore, November 9, 2010 – The newly developed AEROPAK hydrogen fuel cell power system recently announced by Horizon Energy Systems (HES) of Singapore helped set a new record for electric flight duration - this time in South Korea.

In a pioneering effort led by the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and HES, a RemoEye-006 UAV from South Korean manufacturer Uconsystem had its lithium battery pack replaced with Horizon’s standard AEROPAK hydrogen fuel cell system. Named EAV-1, the South Korean UAV took off from KARI’s flight test site at Goheung on October 19. While up to 2 hour flights can be expected using best-in-class battery packs, EAV-1 flew for approximately 5 hours, with additional fuel left over after landing.

"The AEROPAK has proven once again that it is an unparalleled power source for electric flight," said Gareth Tang, Managing Director of HES. For the same total mission duration, a mini-UAV now requires less take-offs and landings, effectively prolonging its lifetime or reducing the number of aircraft needed altogether. These are significant cost savings for any operator."

Designed as a drop-in replacement for lithium-polymer battery packs used in 5-10kg class UAVs, Horizon’s standard first generation AEROPAK is capable of delivering 600W peak power and 900Wh net usable energy, at just less than 2kg total system weight. It uses hot-swappable cartridges that eliminate the need for cumbersome battery chargers and minimize downtime.

With its ability to add superior flight endurance capability, Horizon’s new AEROPAK fuel cell system has taken the international UAV market by storm since its commercial launch in August. "Expect many more fuel cell powered flight announcements from various countries in the coming weeks and months", declared Gareth Tang, "this is just the beginning."