The 45 minute, 20 second flight was achieved with the batteries recharging at 80% capacity, meaning that upwards of 55 minutes is possible using this propulsion system. When updating our previous range analysis with a conservative flight time of 45 minutes, we find that the FireFLY6 is capable of nearly six times the ground range of common off-the-shelf multicopter solutions. Such results should be of particular interest to those who are looking to apply the FireFLY6 in mapping, search & rescue, and agriculture, among other productive missions, particularly when combined with our autonomy and gimbaldemonstrations.
This new propulsion system is a 30-minute-standard system with up-to-60-minute potential, in comparison to the sport-focused PowerPACK which is a 15-minute-standard system with up-to-35-minute potential. We’re working hard to offer this as an off-the-shelf alternative to the PowerPACK for those who are interested in building a FireFLY6 for endurance applications rather than sport flying … but for now, a prerelease version of this high-efficiency propulsion system is available on ready-to-fly birds via our new BuildSERVICE.
Who are the makers of FireFLY6 aerobot?
BirdsEyeView Aerobotics is a small startup company based in Sutton, New Hampshire, founded by college buddies from North Carolina. Live Free or Die, y’all! Our background is in aerospace engineering, and we spent the better part of the past decade working for the US military, government contractors, and other small startups focused on the government/military UAV market. Now it’s our turn to take a spin at the wheel, and BirdsEyeView Aerobotics is our vehicle for applying our expertise to the emerging consumer aerobotics market.
What is an aerobot?
An aerobot is a flying robot for everyday people. Some call them “drones.” We don’t as a rule.
Do I have to have two flight controllers?
Nope, only a hover controller is required.
Are you sure I don’t need a forward flight controller?
Yep, without forward flight control, the FireFLY6 in forward flight is just a fully manual experience like any other RC wing. Forward flight control is a nice-to-have for those who are looking for assistance, a safety net, or aerobotic autonomy.
What’s the flight time?
This is a tough one because the answer depends so much on how you choose to configure and fly your FireFLY6. The FireFLY6 uses less than half the power in forward flight that it uses in hover, so the easiest way to maximize overall flight time is to minimize time in hover.
Your flying style and battery choice have a big impact, and we recommend different battery packs for different goals – Sport and Endurance – with each option fitting the FireFLY6 battery bays nicely:
Sport: Thunder Power G8 Pro Lite+ 3S 3900mAh (TP3900-3SPP25)
Endurance: Turnigy Multistar High Capacity 3S 5200mAh
To illustrate the flight times that are possible using our PowerPACK, we loaded up on Sport packs and flew for 30+ minutes. A lighter two-battery configuration is the “standard” for the FireFLY6, and in this configuration with Sport packs we are seeing 7-8min of pure hover and 15min reliably for the average hybrid flight. In contrast, Endurance packs in this configuration produce 10-11min of pure hover and promise 20-25min hybrid flights … with plenty of payload capacity to spare for accommodating additional Endurance packs if flights of significantly more than a half hour are desired.
Flight times can be extended in multiple ways, and specifying your own propulsion system with maximum endurance as a goal is a good start, but we’re happy that the FireFLY6 is already competitive with, if not better than, some of the best off-the-shelf multicopters when it comes to flight time. That said, this is something that we are continually working on, so stay tuned for exciting updates!
Learn more about Birds Eye View Robotics