China’s plateau-operable drone makes 1st flight with hydrogen power, extends endurance
An AR-20 variable pitch multi-rotor drone equipped with a hydrogen battery conducts a test flight on March 13, 2022 at an undisclosed location. Photo: WeChat account of AVIC China Helicopter Research and Development Institute
The AR-20, a multi-rotor drone domestically developed by China for security surveillance, border patrol and anti-terrorism missions, has spawned a hydrogen-powered variant that recently made its maiden flight.
The successful test proved that the agile, plateau-operable light drone has greatly extended its endurance thanks to the new-energy battery, the aircraft’s maker said.
Developed by China Helicopter Research and Development Institute, a subsidiary of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China, a major contractor of the Chinese military, the AR-20 is a 20-kilogram-class variable pitch multi-rotor drone that was originally equipped with a lithium battery, the institute said in a statement released on its WeChat account on Thursday.
During the test flight…