Startup SkyX has launched a drone that combines the vertical takeoff talents of a helicopter, with the flying prowess of aeroplanes. The company’s first launch, the SkyOne, has a range of 65 miles per charge, which is a pretty impressive feat from a drone that can hover like a ‘copter.
They take off and land in specially developed power stations, which aren’t just electric points. They’re whole mini-hangars to protect the drone when they’re not in the skies as well as power them up for their next flight.
It’s not just the range or way that the SkyOne flies through the air that’s impressive. It packs in a whole load of sensors and cameras to analyse expansive landscapes, and then will beam the information back to cloud storage.
The SkyOne drone will be used to survey land, specifically the areas between oil and gas pipelines. They could also be used to survey wind farms or solar farms, the company said.
“But in consumer there were already great products. There was nothing great for long-range, but that’s where I knew there would be demand. There are millions of kilometers of oil and gas pipelines already built in the world today and they are all at risk of leaks, or terror attacks, you name it.”
Because of the sensitive nature of the fuel industry, SkyX hasn’t revealed the names of its first customers, but said it’s seeing a lot of interest, especially from energy companies that are currently working on testing the drones in controlled environments.