The Heavy-Lift Hybrid Drone being displayed at Aero India 2019

Poeir Jets, a Research & Development subsidiary of Intech DMLS, a Bangalore-based service bureau specializing in Direct Metal Laser Sintering, has developed India’s first Heavy lift Hybrid drones.

Intech DMLS debuted the partially 3D printed drones at Aero India 2019 last weekend. With this development, the company is demonstrating its goal in becoming an industry leader in providing propulsion solutions to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Devathathan Mookiaha, Director at Poeir, explained:

“Intricate complex parts of the propulsion system inside drone posed challenges which the conventional manufacturing cannot meet. As a result, we used 3D printing technology to achieve the complex structure and lightweight needed. We also used carbon fibre 3D Printed parts for the Drone structural parts.”

Additive Manufacturing And Aerial Systems

Following Intech DMLS’ development of India’s first jet engine series in 2017, the company’s ‘Avionics System’ became finalists of Additive World’s Design for Additive Manufacturing Challenge 2018. Now, using its DMLS capabilities dubbed as “Sinteneering Innovations” Intech DMLS and Poeir have introduced four variants of commercially viable Drone for global markets and India.

“Our expertise in 3D printing has come to the fore in developing these unique designs to address specific requirements. In line with our success in indigenously developed Microjet Engines, we see drones as presenting the next big opportunity in modern-day aviation,” added Sridhar Balaram, Co-Founder and Director, Poeir Jets.

These drones operate using battery and turbine engines suited for applications such as heavy-lift cargo, civil, agriculture, forestry, and defence. For example, the Turbo Shaft MTS 30 has been designed and is currently under-testing for two of the 3D printed drones, the Hybrid Drone DJE 30 and the Urban Firefighting Hopper.

The Turbo Shaft MTS 30 for multi-rotor craft weighing up to 200kg. Image via Intech DMLS.

Heavy-lift Drones

The Heavy-lift Drones have been created to enable ease-of-launch, as well as quick assembly and operation. The drones feature customisable payload options that also expands its functionalities, i.e., within law enforcement and search and rescue operations.

Overall, the four variants of the drones include the Hybrid Drone DRE 4, Turbo Shaft MTS 30, Hybrid Drone DJE 30, and Urban Firefighting Hopper. The Hybrid Drone DRE 4 is a Hexacopter powered with 4 kW auxiliary power unit (APU) and has the capacity to lift up to 5kg in a flight time of 60 minutes. The DJE 30 is also a Hexacopter powered with 30 kW APU which can take a payload of 75 kg with a mission duration of 120 minutes.

Furthermore, the Urban Firefighting Hopper is a drone specially designed to restrain fire in high-rises. It was co-created with the help of a Spain-based company, Drone Hopper, a company in Spain. It can take a load of 180 kg with a mission duration of 60 minutes.

The range of additively manufactured Hybrid Heavy-lift drones are undergoing rigorous in-house testing to ensure reliability and are expected to be ready for the market by 2021.