Flowcopter heavylift cargo drone successfully tested at HCA Airport

In the past couple of weeks, Scottish company Flowcopter has been testing its heavylift cargo drone in the unique drone airspace above HCA Airport. It was the first outdoor flight trials for Flowcopter, which has chosen HCA Airport as its European test base. 

During the past couple of weeks, a very special drone could be spotted in the airspace above HCA Airport in Odense, Denmark. This was part of a batch of three FC100 drones built by Scottish drone manufacturer Flowcopter over the last year to validate their new class of Uncrewed Air Systems. 

 Flowcopter has chosen the Danish airport and its UAS Denmark Test Centre as a test base for the development of the company’s FC100 cargo drone for use in logistics, offshore and agricultural applications. 

 The Danish test flights were the first of their kind outdoors and outside the UK. 

“We are returning home with our technical readiness tests completed and will be implementing a design freeze to share this model with several interested clients,” says Technical Director at Flowcopter, Uwe Stein. 

Easy permission to fly 

He explains the choice of HCA Airport as a test base due to a combination of excellent test facilities and an easy authorisation procedure, where the Danish authorities have contributed with efficient case processing.  

“We found the application process for flight authorisation to be incredibly smooth with a huge amount of support from the Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority. It was also a great help for us that UAS Denmark Test Centre contributed with advice and experience in relation to preparing risk analyses for the flight permit,” says Uwe Stein. 

Can lift up to 100 kilos 

Flowcopter’s “FC100” heavylift cargo drone, referred internally as an”utility copter” or “uUAS”, is designed to deliver high lifting capacity over long distances. Specifically, the drone can lift 100 kilos, over a distance of 200 kilometres and fly for up to three hours. These flight trials at UAS Denmark Test Center prove Flowcopter’s technology which offers a roadmap towards uUAS capable of carrying more than 300kgs over long distances. 

Flowcopter’s uUAS is a completely new class of aircraft using robust, low-cost hydraulic drive to control the propellers at a fraction of the weight of a comparable electric system. This is enabled by an efficient, fast control response Digital Displacement® pump driving hydraulic motors.  

Early adopters of the Flowcopter drone will be operators in sectors such as agriculture, offshore wind and search & rescue operations. Flowcopter are already in conversation with end users in the wider cargo logistics applications. 

An easy gateway to Europe 

“We are happy and proud that Flowcopter has chosen HCA Airport and UAS Denmark Test Centre as its European test base. It underlines that we can offer a strong combination of good test facilities and easy access to getting your drone in the air,” says Michael Larsen, Head of UAS Denmark Test Centre. 

He adds that Flowcopter, as a non-EU company, can now use the licence obtained in Denmark in the remaining EU countries. 

“So in this way, we are an easy entry point to the European market for drone companies that want to operate in the EU, and we are ready to help others who are in the same situation as Flowcopter,” says Michael Larsen. 

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