Dutch company DeltaQuad is looking to shake up drone design – and through that, increase both performance and mission diversity – with its new Evo electric takeoff and landing (eVTOL) craft that bears more than a passing resemblance to the B2-Stealth aircraft.
Badhoevedorp-based DeltaQuad said this week its fixed-wing Evo eVTOL drone has entered the public beta phase of testing involving a select number of clients and other UAV operators. The company is part of Vertical Technologies, a developer of long-range enterprise craft for mapping, inspection, and surveillance applications. Improved aerodynamic efficiencies from Evo’s design, says DeltaQuada, provides enhanced flight performance enabling up to 4.5 hours of operation on a single charge.
Responding to input from customers on their evolving needs from drone operation, DeltaQuad said it returned to the drawing board to rethink the conception of its next trademark delta craft – coming up with the B2-eque Evo eVTOL in the process.
“About two years ago, we noticed requirements for eVTOL drones were changing,” says Douwe Zeeman, DeltaQuad CEO. “We saw a rapidly growing demand for increased flight times and flexible payload options, with a lower total cost of ownership.”
Its innovative “flying-wing” shape isn’t new in the drone world – much less to DeltaQuad – but the Evo is different in its eVTOL operation, as opposed to the tail-sitting takeoff and landing design of most triangular craft.
Its delta form, meanwhile, creates room for two separate payloads bays with a total 3-kilo capacity. Those permit two different kinds of sensors to be carried and used in the same flight for mixed surveillance, mapping, multispectral imagery, and LiDAR missions.
In building Evo’s airframe, DeltaQuad uses robust fiberglass, carbon, and Kevlar materials, which – along with the eVTOL’s delta shape – increase aerodynamic efficiency and improve wind resistance. The resulting enhanced performance, the company says, permits 4.5 hours of operation with only one payload bay used, and three hours when both are loaded.
The newest edition to the DeltaQuad lineup integrates Auterion’s Skynode, allowing Evo eVTOL drones to deliver real-time data feeds, using an array of flexible connectivity options to enable data workflows, custom apps, and AI for enterprise and government customers alike.