Fraport: testing hybrid aerial vehicle in passenger terminals
The H-Aero combines the advantages of a balloon, airplane and helicopter in a single system
The H-Aero is a small, helium-filled hybrid aerial vehicle. From October 28 to 31, passengers at Frankfurt Airport were able to see it floating almost silently through Halls D and E in Terminal 2. Fraport AG joined forces with the start-up Hybrid-Airplane Technologies to carry out test flights assessing whether the aerial vehicle could be used to perform status checks in the terminals.
The H-Aero has approval to fly over people and combines the advantages of a balloon, airplane and helicopter in a single system. The hybrid aerial vehicle can perform a vertical take-off like a helicopter, for instance. It features a helium-filled, lens-shaped balloon that keeps it in the air as well as wings that can rotate 270° to steer it in all directions.
The idea behind the field test is to make life easier for employees performing status checks in the terminals. Instead of having to inspect the large terminal halls on foot, employees would be able to check the sites from the comfort of their desks with the help of camera images and use this to report any necessary clean-ups or repairs. The easier identification of incidents will contribute to traffic safety in the terminals. During the test, the H-Aero flew a pre-defined route through the check-in halls and used a thermal imaging camera to transmit images of the terminal. Going forward, with the help of AI technology, the H-Aero will be able to make its rounds and report any issues autonomously.
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