Impossible Aerospace first showed their new drone the US-1 at InterDrone last week. What sets this drone apart from all other quadcopters, is its 2-hour flight time. This unmanned aircraft is uniquely designed with the batteries forming an integral part of its structure. As a result, the drone can fit many more batteries and thus achieve its extra long flight time. A little background information on the company and its founder may explain this radical approach to the design of the drone. The US start-up Impossible Aerospace was founded by former Tesla module battery design engineer Spencer Gore in 2016. The Sunnyvale, California-based company has received $9.4 million in a Series A funding to develop the drone.

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The US-1 delivers a flight time of 2 hours

As you know most drones have a flight-time of somewhere between 20-25 minutes, so to introduce an unmanned aircraft that can fly up to two hours is an extraordinary feat. The drone is called the US-1 and has a 26-inch frame that is almost completely filled with batteries. According to Gore, the drone can be charged up to 75% in about 45 minutes, providing you with about an hour and a half worth of flying. In an article in the NYT, he said to achieve such a long flight-time:

“The US-1 has been designed with a battery-first approach.”

Gore also thinks that their design approach can be used for larger aircraft as well, which might make them competitive with conventional airplanes. Interestingly, Airbus Ventures is one of the investors that participated in the latest round of funding led by venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners.

The US-1 should be available in the fourth quarter of 2018 and will be priced at $7,000 without any accessories you might want such as a camera. Impossible Aerospace targets commercial customers such as first responders, firefighters, police, coastguards, etc.

Specifications of the IMPOSSIBLE US-1

Aircraft:

  • External Dimensions: 660 mm x 660 mm (26” x 26”)
  • Unladen Mass: 7.1 kg (15.7 lb s)
  • Flight time: Up to 120 minutes
  • Rated Payload: Max 1.3 kg (2.9 lbs)
  • Flight Time with Rated Payload: Up to 78 minutes
  • Speed: Up to 19 m/s (42 mph)
  • Distance: Up to 75 kilometers
  • Propeller: 610 mm x 183 mm (24″ x 7″)
  • Autopilot: Px4
  • Ingress Protection: IP43 level
  • Operating Temperature Range: 0°C – 50°C (32°F – 122.0°F)
  • GPS
  • Hardshell case included

Remote Controller:

  • 16 Channels
  • Daylight Legible Backlight LCD 128×64
  • Real-Time Flight Data Display
  • Teacher-Student Link Ground Station:

Sensors:

  • Flir Duo Pro R
  • For additional sensor options, contact support@impossible.aero

Battery:

  • Best in Class Battery Management System
  • Battery Type: Lithium Ion

Charger:

  • Fast charge in under one hour

Hardshell Case includes:

  • Video Screen: 20”
  • Control Screen: 12”
  • Built-in Battery Capacity: 5 hours
  • Encrypted Video Link: AES-128
  • Video Latency: 1-2ms
  • Ground Control Software: QGroundControl
  • Video Transmission: 1080 Full HD, 60fps

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