Record-setting drone flies over 21 miles across the English Channel

A team of U.K. drone experts from Ocuair has set an aviation record by flying a drone across the English Channel (over 21 miles) in a 72 minute flight.

Richard Gill landing the drone on Shakespeare Beach in Dover. (Image via Ocuair)
Richard Gill landing the drone on Shakespeare Beach in Dover. (Image via Ocuair)

Last week, Richard Gill and his team of drone experts launched a drone from a beach near Wissant in Northern France on a mission to make it across the English Channel. The flight was scheduled to take about 80 to 90 minutes, but it would need to dodge air and water traffic (even cram between two large vessels) to get there.

After 14 miles, the drone encountered some difficulty and Gill needed to disable the drone’s GPS fly it manually for the last 20 minutes, which is no easy task.

After landing successfully on Shakespeare Beach in Dover, the team boasted about the potential their milestone could have on commercial drone technology.

“I wanted to do something to stand out and show what this technology is capable of, companies like Amazon, with their Prime Air service have seen the commercial potential of drones.  This attempt pushes the boundaries of what is technically possible,” said Gill, on the company’s blog.


According to the team, small unmanned aerial vehicles, like the Enduro 1 drone that it used in its demonstration, are the future of aviation, so it wanted to push the limits of what they could do.

About the Enduro 1 

The drone used by the Ocuair team was made with a custom airframe designed by UK based UAV manufacturer Vulcan UAV and included T-Motors and blades for lift. Two 22 Amp hour batteries powered the vehicle and it came equipped with a GPS tracking device.

Watch it happen here.




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