History of aviation is punctuated by crazy projects, crazies who proposed a different approach on the sidelines of that aircraft manufacturers have always done. The designer of the SkyHopper is one of those. The project team not only offers a transport drone capable of transporting 100 kg over a hundred km but also the entire transport system that will implement a fleet of such drones. Another originality, even if it is a particularly ambitious project on the technical level, the first prototype of this drone will be funded by crowdfunding.
A powerful drone capable of meeting multiple needs
The availability of a vertical take-off drone capable of lifting a hundred kilograms has potentially multiple applications. Cargo transport, supply of isolated, maritime surveillance, agricultural, medical rescue missions or intervention in the emergency zones, provided that the legislation on drones evolve as a drone could find multiple opportunities.
Led by a group of English aeronautical engineers, the SkyHopper project seems crazy and yet it is conducted in a very rational and measured way.
More than just a drone, a real transport system
These experienced engineers imagined a progressive approach in order to lead the design of the drone to good. These have received support from a few British companies but they are betting on crowdfunding to raise the £ 500,000 needed to assemble the first prototype.
Besides the drone itself, the designers have approached the SkyHopper as a complete transport system, with Aero Park sizes larger or smaller to accommodate the SkyHopper. Some are true logistics centers, others simple “docking stations” automated to recharge drones in transits. The team is open to any proposal to evolve its drone and this transport system.
The SkyHopper initiative is ambitious but remains pragmatic and the drone of the certification issue, essential for truly hope to see the fly in the airspace, was built from the start of the project. Its promoters claim to work closely with the English air authorities (CAA and NATS) so that the drone can obtain its certificate of airworthiness after the tests of the future prototype.