Undoubtedly the biggest limitation current drones face is the travel distance capability.
We are in an age of technology where drones can be used as carriers of packages, scientific aid in research, and even an additional arm in law enforcement. But the fact of the matter is, a drone can only fly so far from its original point before running out of fuel.
This limits its range of flight and in doing so, limits its capabilities entirely.
So what is the solution for this flight time problem you ask? The drone company Harris Aerial may have a solution, if not a middle ground.
Based in Orlando, Florida, the Harris Aerial Company has started to develop a hybrid drone that is run by both gasoline and electricity. Unlike most drones that run on electricity, this one has a support fuel source in gasoline, leading to a longer flight time.
Named the Carrier H4 Hybrid, this drone is equipped with thermal imaging and hyperspectral cameras. This can make it an especially valuable tool in the field of law enforcement, such as monitoring and surveillance.
With its power source coming from both gasoline and electricity, it boasts a flight time of close to 5 whole hours without running out of fuel. When it is used as a transport drone however, it can still fly a decent 2 hours while carrying loads up to 10 pounds.
The main usefulness of the extended fuel life can easily be seen on the field. A drone with that amount of flight time can be of more use when tracking subjects without losing sight of them. Drones can also be more effectively used in emergency situations, where its drivers can focus more on the task at hand and not keeping a close eye on the limited battery life it can support.
This can, of course, give more breathing room for procedures in the field, such as following an escaping car, keeping an eye out on wildlife subjects, and even longer reach for delivery drones.