The National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan has developed Asia’s first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called the Grey-Faced Buzzard. The green-powered UAV that made its maiden flight in Southern Taiwan is powered by lithium batteries and fuel cell.
According to Lai, manager of the drone development project, the Grey-Faced Buzzard flew for 15 minutes at speeds up to 100kph and an altitude of less than 300 meters.
Due to its electric engine the UAV is extremely silent, and produces no carbon dioxide emissions. “The Grey-faced Buzzard produces no carbon dioxide emissions and is very quiet, ” Lai said at a press conference held at NCKU. “The hybrid battery is an amelioration of a fuel cell, which on its own is too costly, and a lithium battery, which on its own has too short a durability, ” he added.
Costing about $15,822, the drone weighs 22kg and is nearly 2 meters long. The motor’s power is of about 1KW or approximately 1.34 horsepower. Lai and his team are now working to enlarge the UAV in the hope that it can stay in the air for as long as three hours at a time.
Lai said that this kind of unmanned aerial vehicle is designed to be used by the army for rescue missions in areas that manned craft or men on the ground cannot reach and collect intelligence.