Is it a plane? Is it a helicopter? Is it a drone? Well, the Heliplane v.2 by Drone Volt, as its name implies, is is a plane, a helicopter and a drone. It is the company’s the latest drone hybrid VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) vehicle. For the benefit of the uninitiated, Drone Volt is an embedded artificial intelligence expert and maker of professional civil drones with operations across Europe, the U.S. and Indonesia.
The new Heliplane v.2 Drone Hybrid VTOL is designed with surveillance, inspection and photogrammetry sectors in mind. Heliplane v.2 is a long range drone, capable of reaching speeds of up to 20 m/s (72 km/h or 45 miles an hour) with 60 minutes of flight time and up to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) range, all while battling winds of 50 km/h (31 mph). Do note that the 10 click range is afforded by the optional long-range communication link module. Standard range, though, is just 500 meters (0.31 mile).
The beauty of this aircraft is, transition between the two flight modes is fully automatic. Fast forward flight is enabled by a rotor on the horizontal plane at the front, while vertical lift is provided by four rotors mounted on the vertical plane. The appearance is weird. Not going to lie. But it is not without purposed. By removing the wing and empennage, it can quickly turn the aircraft into a multi-rotor vehicle, thus affording it modularity not found in commercial drones available in the market today.
Despite its slender form, the combination of carbon fiber and Kevlar frame ensure its airframe remain extremely resistant in a variety of flying conditions – including resisting winds of up to 50 km/h as mentioned earlier. As equally important as its reliability is its payload which is a pretty impressive 1.6 kilograms (3.5 lbs).
Heliplane v.2 Drone Hybrid VTOL comes in two sizes: Large with 230 centimeters (7.5 feet) wingspan and Extra-large with 270 centimeters (8.9 feet) wingspan, and in three versions: Pack Security, Pack LiDAR, and Pack Photogrammetry, to suitable a variety missions including security, mapping, and precision measurements.
You can learn more or order this unmanned aerial workhorse HERE.
Images: Drone Volt.