On Sunday, December 15, 2019, Unmanned Propulsion Development, LLC, (UPD) flew our 2kW hybrid power system aboard our 42 pound, development Part 107 quadcopter for 2 hours, 32 minutes hovering out of ground effect (HOGE), carrying a 4 pound payload at Cove Farm in St. Leonard, MD. We landed with 3 hours and 40 minutes of fuel remaining on a gusty day. Although not witnessed by an official, this is already 26 minutes longer than the current Guiness World Record for a drone flight. This endurance flight demonstrates that the hybrid engine technology is a significant improvement to battery, and gasoline power for small unmanned vertical systems.
UPD is boot strap start-up founded and owned by Matthew Hayes, local entrepreneur currently located at Chesapeake Ranch Estates Airpark in Lusby, MD. Matt has 14 years of experience as a small engine developer with large and small companies. I am the UPD Director of Program Development and Lindsay Digman, Manned Flight Simulator (MFS) engineer at Pax River Naval Air Station, serves as our FAA Part 107 Chief Drone Test Pilot. Myles Mayshark, a student at University of Alabama works as an engineering intern when home. The four of us met and built our relationships through The Patuxent Partnership (TPP) and SoMd Innovation and Tech (SMIT) and PAXSPACE, Inc., all nonprofit hubs of innovation connecting the local Southern Maryland community.
We were joined by Alison and Tommy Luginbill (Techport) and Brian Ferguson, family members of Cove Farm owners to witness the event.
We are super pleased with the results of our maiden test flight and are looking forward to a 6 hour duration flight after the holidays.