One of the most exciting technologies on display at the Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas was the new long-endurance drone from TerraView. The California-based developer of unmanned aerial technology debuted their RangePro X8 at the Expo. This new product is an industrial drone designed to fly for more than 70 minutes in real-world conditions with a standard sensor payload.
Michael Kelly, VP of Sales at Terraview was at the Expo to talk through all of the technical details of the new platform and the advantages that it represents for commercial drone operations. He highlighted the products' key differentiators as well as some of the features that will ultimately make it a winner.
“As companies continue to look for drones that can handle more commercial or industrial tasks, flight time becomes a big concern,” Kelly told Commercial UAV News. “Engineered and made in the U.S., our new RangePro X8 was designed specifically for industrial, first response, and governmental enterprise data capture. Additional markets include energy, agriculture, construction and mining.”
Four years in the making and with re-engineered motors and improved battery chemistry, the RangePro X8 was designed in California and is currently manufactured in Maryland using military-grade technology. The company is also offering a competitive pricing scheme to enter the market.
Kelly mentioned that one of the product’s key differentiators is the fact that Terraview uses open-source software to develop their flight controls. That allows it to seamlessly integrate with various standard control interfaces (e.g., Go App, Mission Planner, and QGroundControl) and allows users to travel further, reliably.
“The beauty of our control system is its compatibility with your existing payloads across multiple industry standard control and transmission systems, including the Pixhawk and A3 Lightbridge,” Kelly continued. “Don’t throw money away on new equipment you don’t need—our controllers work with you and everything you already own so you can get to work sooner.”
The RangePro X8 achieves longer flight times due to its design coupled with higher capacity batteries, capabilities that allow flights which last about 2.5x longer than other drones. These flying times can also be modestly extended even further by using special winglets. This allows users to accomplish more work with fewer batteries and less time spent on battery swaps and maintenance. Each battery can support more than 50 charging cycles over its lifespan, and the charging time for 70 minutes of flight is just 2 hours.
The RangePro X8 is certainly an impressive unmanned aircraft and its capabilities are the type of innovation that we need in the commercial UAV space. To sum up, Kelly highlighted why and how the RangePro X8 should be considered for just any relevant enterprise drone program.
“We are the option for longer flying time, we are manufactured in the USA, we offer the widest range of options when it comes to control systems and we are focused on becoming the solution that would offer the most aggressive ROI in the industry,” Kelly said.
Keeping drones in the air for longer amount of time are a key to the success and profitability of end-users. Pushing past the current limitations on time-in-the-air flights for drones will open up multiple opportunities across the industry.