Insitu, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, has declared that its ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS) with hydrogen fuel cell has completed its two-and-a-half-hour flight test successfully. To the expeditionary, runway-independent Group 2 ScanEagle UAS, the fuel cell was added as a modular upgrade.
The United Technologies (UTC), Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and Insitu collaborated to develop the upgraded ScanEagle UAS. The 1500 W fuel cell of UTC with the hydrogen fueling solution of NRL was used to produce a ScanEagle propulsion module. At the plants of Insitu in Bingen, Wash, the module was incorporated into the ScanEagle UAS in three days.
The solution is inexpensive when compared to heavy fuel and gas solutions for UAS. Even the engine is low in weight when compared to conventional engines and hence, the aircraft weight is also reduced. This helps the ScanEagle aircraft to take more payload and at the same time reduce costs.
The company’s dedication to satisfy customer requirements is shown through this fuel-cell powered flight of ScanEagle. The company introduces novel technology into modular systems to meet the requirements of its customers.
Later this year, the company will collaborate with the Air Force Research Lab to carry out a flight test on a fuel cell incorporated in the Integrator UAS.
Insitu focuses on designing, developing, producing and providing UAS for defense, civil and commercial uses.