Russia is known for having built the largest airplane, the Antonov An-225, the largest helicopter, the MiL V12, the largest submarine, the Typhoon class and now they are working on building a massive drone. The drone is called the SYF and is designed to carry a 400-pound payload and to fly for up to eight hours. The drone, designed by Russian company ARDN technology, has a maximum speed of 43.5 mph. The SKYF drone was designed specifically with logistics and agriculture in mind.
The Russian hybrid drone seems to have potential
According to ARDN Technology, the SKYF drone has a range of potential applications, including:
- Aerial application chemicals: Pesticide and fertilizer application
- Precipitation management: Help reduce snow accumulation and prevent and extinguish fires
- Forestry: Rapidly plants seeds in biodegradable capsules for the restoration of forests after deforestation or forest fires
- Logistics in oil and gas: Delivery of items such as food, spare parts and measuring equipment to oil rigs or remote drilling stations
- Postal logistics: Delivery of heavy good to hard-to-reach residential areas
- Marine logistics: Delivery of goods to ships at sea or on the move
- Powerline and road construction (geodetic work): Remote sensing for the construction of power lines, roads, and pipelines
- Instrumental control: Control of instruments for hard-to-reach infrastructure such as wind power generators
- Emergency situations: Delivery of food, rescue equipment, and medicine to areas of natural disasters or at sea
Even though the SKYF is quite a large drone, it can be partly folded and two drones would fit in a 20-foot cargo container. The drone relies on gasoline-powered engines for lift and electric motors for stabilization and control. It is this hybrid approach that makes the SKYF drone so suitable for package delivery tasks. Another advantage according to ARDN is that the combination of electric and gasoline power reduces the overall weight of the drone and brings down the price. The Russian company claims that the drone will give a range of around 220 miles when carrying a 110-pound payload.
The SKYF drone has been in development since 2016 and there is very limited real video footage available. In the video clip on this website, you can see some actual test footage but most of the other imagery is either photoshopped or animated. The payload carrying ability, the flight time and distance would be truly impressive if the Russian company can deliver on these promises.
We believe, that for now, the hybrid solution may offer benefits but with battery technology advancing and batteries becoming cheaper and more powerful we would hope that ARDN Technology will make a fully electric version of the SKYF drone in the foreseeable future.