Freedom Class giant drone achieves 159kph in test

Last September we wrote about Freedom Drone Sports and how they planned to develop giant drones for racing. Things have developed since then.

Freedom envisaged a new class of drone called Freedom Class and a new racing league called Freedom Class Giant Drone Racing. They were working on a prototype battery-powered drone weighing 30kg that when fully developed would be capable of flying at 200kph and lifting 300kg.

So how have they gone since then? Flat out, apparently.

According to Freedom, they have been “designing, building and testing a racing drone that they believe is going to help the sport be more accessible to a mainstream audience and one day potentially rival Formula 1 at the pinnacle of racing.”

They have now released video from a test flight of the Freedom Class Racer V1.0 prototype, which they say recorded a flight speed of 159kph.

“Weighing in at 30kgs and measuring 120cm across, the Freedom Class Racer will be breathtaking to watch on a race track,” claims the company on its website.

“The drone sounds incredible, with the four large propellers emitting a roar that sits somewhere between a fighter jet and a race car. It’s this combination of size, speed and sound that has the team and many others excited.”

The next few months will see the team focus on V2.0 and continue to work with the various Australian and International authorities and governing bodies on developing certification, safety, insurance and education.

“Now that we have had successful testing of the V1.0,” says CEO Chris Ballard. “we will commence sourcing funding for V2.0, where our aim is to pass the 200kph mark.

“With V2.0 we will be showcasing the next generation in aerodynamic frames and high power systems, amazing crowds with a mixture of speed and sound, all presented in an immersive virtual reality environment.”

CTO Leonard Hall said “it was great to see the power train work flawlessly after our early challenges. “Given the lack of aerodynamics on the test frame we were very happy to see the power train push the aircraft to 159kph. From a spectator perspective the sound was fantastic and the aircraft will be clearly seen and heard from hundreds of metres away.

“With the handling, We had tuned the aircraft roughly 10% of the potential of the systems in order to accomplish the necessary air time. There is certainly a lot of potential for an increased accuracy of handling that can easily be added to the aircraft,” he added.