Intelligent Energy and Aurora Flight Sciences push the limits of UAS flight range

Intelligent Energy and Aurora Flight Sciences push the limits of UAS flight range

  • Intelligent Energy fuel cells extend flight times in new uncrewed aircraft system from Aurora Flight Sciences
  • Test flight results provide glimpse into future of UAS
  • Fuel cells allow for increased range with UAS only weighing 54 pounds

Loughborough – 5 July 2024 – Intelligent Energy (IE) is delighted to collaborate with Aurora Flight Sciences to help power the next generation of Aurora uncrewed aircraft systems through the use of fuel cell technology. 

Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing Company, recently tested its fuel-cell-powered SKIRON-XLE, a new addition to its SKIRON Expeditionary small uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) product line. The new craft has been designed for long-range reconnaissance for customers including the US military. 

Intelligent Energy’s product portfolio features fuel cell technology aimed particularly at this market and bespoke to the stringent requirements needed to deliver reliable, long-range flight. The Intelligent Energy fuel cell-powered SKIRON-XLE weighs just 54 pounds and is easily transported in a standard truck or SUV and deployed by a two-person crew.

By allowing for more energy to be added to a UAS without a concurrent increase in weight which would come with conventional battery packs, Intelligent Energy fuel cells allow  the SKIRON-XLE to extend flight times to well over five hours, crucial for long-range reconnaissance. 

The SKIRON product line combines the convenience of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) with the longer endurance of a fixed-wing design. 

Andy Kelly, Head of Product at Intelligent Energy, said: 

“Aurora Flight Sciences is a company at the forefront of uncrewed aircraft technology and we are proud to see our fuel cells taking the range and capability of this technology to new levels. This represents yet another application of Intelligent Energy technology into the field of sustainable, long-range flight. 

“We look forward to continuing to support the team at Aurora Flight Sciences as they roll this new product out and to seeing the flight times achieved deployed in further settings including civilian and commercial.” 

Jason Grzywna, Senior Director of Products at Aurora Flight Sciences said: 

“Aurora is excited to advance the future of flight with the integration of Intelligent Energy fuel cells into our SKIRON platform. The fuel-cell-powered variant can deliver maximum range and endurance for customers with the most demanding needs, enabling long range reconnaissance missions while also providing more sustainable small aircraft operations.”




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About Intelligent Energy Limited

Intelligent Energy is a leader in the development and manufacture of cutting-edge hydrogen fuel cells that overcome the limitations of conventional battery-powered systems.

The privately-owned company, which has 600 patents in place, has been innovating for more than two decades in the automotive, aerospace, power generation, telecoms, materials handling and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sectors.