Insitu, a leading developer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), has unveiled plans for a new hybrid drone capable of extended flight times. Dubbed the Integrator, this innovative concept combines the vertical takeoff and landing abilities of a multirotor drone with the efficient cruising of a fixed-wing UAV.
The Integrator design leverages the best attributes of both drone types. The vertical lift rotors allow it to take off and land in confined areas without a runway. Once airborne, the rotors tilt forward to transform into a fixed-wing plane configuration optimized for longer distance flight. This hybrid approach allows the Integrator to operate for over 24 hours on a single tank of gas.
Insitu is pitching the Integrator for surveillance, communications relay, and other missions requiring extreme endurance and flexibility. By switching between vertical and horizontal flight modes, the drone can move efficiently across long distances while still being able to deploy sensors and communicate from a stationary hovering position.
The Integrator drone builds upon Insitu’s extensive experience developing unmanned aircraft like the ScanEagle. However, the hybrid vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) design presents new aerodynamic and control challenges. Insitu continues to refine the concept through simulator testing and sub-scale prototype flights. The company envisions the Integrator enabling new persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for both military and commercial operators.
This innovative drone concept shows how emerging hybrid VTOL technology can combine the strengths of multirotor and fixed-wing UAVs. Insitu’s Integrator aims to deliver unmatched flight endurance and operational flexibility to transform how unmanned systems are deployed in the field. The development of this hybrid drone highlights how UAV capabilities continue to evolve through aviation innovation.