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Heavy lift American Made UAS. High Powered Tether, Gasoline Hybrid, Hydrogen fuel cell and battery operated systems used for Telecom, Security, Mapping and more.
For Immediate Release
Philadelphia, PA, USA - BFD Systems LLC, a leading provider of custom and semi-custom heavy-lift drones based in Philadelphia, PA announced today that it has completed integration and begun field evaluations of Ballard Unmanned Systems, Inc.’s FCair™ hydrogen fuel cell power systems in its heavy-lift drone platforms. BFD aircraft, which utilize fuel cell power systems, have been demonstrated to support mission durations of 60-to-90 minutes depending upon payload, mission type and wind conditions. Initial field trials are focused on agricultural and infrastructure inspection missions, with pipeline and transmission line inspections, cinematography, and package delivery trials planned in the coming months.
Max Tubman, BFD Systems CEO, said, “Our partnership with the Ballard team has resulted in a rapid integration of the FCair™ system into an initial hex-rotor aircraft, which we are using to extensively test all aspects of operational use to assure real benefit to our customer base. From flight duration, to platform vibration, to ease and cost of refueling, our intention is to validate that the hydrogen fuel cell system is rugged and reliable, and we want to understand which mission types the additional flight time enabled by the fuel cell propulsion system adds real value. We expect to be performing rigorous testing and evaluation – not only of the aircraft but of the related ground systems – throughout the spring and summer. Assuming we confirm that the system offers the expected benefits, we anticipate offering the fuel cell system as a standard propulsion option beginning in the autumn.”
Phil Robinson, General Manager of Ballard Unmanned Systems, elaborated, “We are gratified that our partnership with BFD Systems has moved into the field trial stage, and are looking forward to the learnings that both companies will gain from performing commercial missions in diverse applications. Because the FCair™ system provides not only 3x the flight time of batteries, but also proven reliability in a wide range of weather conditions and altitudes, we believe it has the potential to considerably improve commercial UAV business models while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact of drone operations.”
A BFD hex-rotor aircraft integrated with the Ballard FCair™-1200 fuel cell power system, as well as FCair™ fuel tank, regulator, and ground support equipment, will be displayed at the AUVSI Xponential conference in Chicago on April 30-to-May 2, in booth #1311. Both Ballard Unmanned Systems and BFD team members will be present to answer questions and explore possible applications.
About BFD Systems: BFD Systems is a UAV hardware development and integration company. We specialize in creating UAV (drone) solutions for companies who have needs outside of what is commercially available. BFD Systems specializes in large industrial multirotors for heavy lift payloads and long endurance flights, using the newest generation of hydrogen fuel cells, gasoline hybrid, and tethered UAV solutions. BFD Systems works with clients to determine their needs and then creates a solution to meet them.
BFD Systems offers UAV training, preventive maintenance, repairs, consulting and contracting services. As an integrator, BFD Systems is able to make use of a wide range of components, making us nimble and able to quickly embrace the newest technologies available. We engineer our modular UAV platforms to seamlessly integrate with our customers’ sensors, off-board computing software, and other solutions as their missions require. We are the preferred manufacturing partner of customers in telecom, machine learning, land and resource surveying, cinema, and other industries. For more information about our UAV solutions please refer to www.bfdsystems.com or visit BFD Systems at Booth 1741.
About Ballard Unmanned Systems: Ballard Unmanned Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLDP; TSX: BLDP), is a leading designer and manufacturer of clean, economical hydrogen power systems for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). We develop, test and manufacture complete UAV fuel cell solutions and related support equipment in Southborough, Massachusetts. Ballard Unmanned Systems has commercialized and deployed products designed for commercial UAV aircraft producers and end‐users who need longer, quieter, and more reliable operation than batteries and internal combustion engines can provide. For more information about our UAV solutions please refer to http://ballard.com/markets/uav.