Bloomberg Businessweek has my writeup in the May 11-17, 2015 issue on Top Flight’s hybrid power drones.
A gasoline engine on board charges the batteries that run the rotors, giving the drones 2 hours or more of flight time versus the 15-30 minutes more typical of electric-only drones. They can also carry a lot more weight—20 pounds of gear or other cargo versus a more common 10 pounds or so for the most powerful all-electric drones.
The company plans to ship the first test units to customers this year, and hit the market in earnest next year.
At a $50,000 price point, these are aimed squarely at the industrial market, but, like any other new tech, if successful, they should drop in price, especially as regulatory issues get cleared up over the next two or three years.