How China’s flying submarine drone could change the way sea battles are fought

A research team in western China has unveiled a drone capable of travelling through air and underwater. Although it is not the first “transmedium” drone the world has seen, the Chinese prototype uses a design with improved underwater mobility. Water is 800 times more dense than air, and stickier. Similar drones developed in Western countries must rotate their blades at a slow speed while underwater or risk snapping. But the Chinese drone used two kinds of blades with one designed to spin 3,600 times per minute in water to generate a powerful thrust. A drone can easily lose balance and flip when moving from one medium to the other. During a 90-second test flight, though, the 1.5kg (3.3lb) Chinese drone remained intact after diving into and emerging from the water seven times. The technology has shown potential in a wide range of applications, according to the researchers, but they said there was room for improvement in its 20-minute flight time and 500-gram (18-ounce) payload capacity. “The cross-medium UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] is designed to expand the operating environment and application range of existing aircraft, and can make full use of stealth underwater and high manoeuvrability in the air,” said Zhang…

Read More…
How China’s flying submarine drone could change the way sea battles are fought

Updated: July 20, 2021 — 10:26 pm