Next Gen Conservation Drone under testing
We are experimenting with several different airframes for the next fleet of Conservation Drones. One of these models is the X5 which we mentioned earlier. Another promising candidate is the new Condor Skywalker 1880. The main motivation to experiment with the Skywalker is to improve flying time and range. The main advantage of the Skywalker over the FPV Raptor (Drone 2.0) and HK Bixler (Drone 1.0) is that the Skywalker has massive fuselage and wing area. Furthermore, a side door can be cut out from the fuselage to facilitate initialization of the APM and camera prior to each flight.
An initial test using two 3S 20C 4000 mAh batteries connected in parallel (8000 mAh total), with an additional dummy weight of 200 g (simulating a GoPro camera payload) suggests a total flight time of ~70 min. That test flight was achieved with a Turnigy D3536/8 1000 KV motor spinning a TGS 9x6E propeller, regulated by a 50A speed controller, and had an All-Up-Weight (AUW) of 2.2 kg (~900 g of payload). If programmed to fly at a speed of 12 m/s, the total range of the Skywalker-based Conservation Drone would be close to 50 km!