Chinese bird-shaped drone breaks world record for longest flight time

Scientists from Beihang University (China) have developed a drone model that could stay in the air for a record amount of time on a single charge.

The form factor of the UAV is called “ornithopter” because it looks a lot like a real bird. The device is equipped with wings that flap, just like birds. The ornithopter is powered by a lithium-ion battery, weighs 1.6 kg, and has a wingspan of 2 m. The maximum speed of the drone is 10 m per second.

The tests were carried out on the outskirts of Beijing. On a single charge, the winged drone flew for just over 1.5 hours.

Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that previously a drone of this design could not stay in the air for so long. Previous tests showed just over 1 hour. However, the scientist Zhao Longfei said that he could beat this figure, and since October last year, he began to improve the design of the device.

According to Zhao, he sees the future for such drones and believes that they should also be developed along with quadcopters. Initially, the drone flew for 53 minutes. But after optimizing the power plant and the dynamics of the wing, its flight characteristics became twice as good.


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