A Team of Students of the Technical University of Munich (TUM)

Building the World's Longest Range eVTOL Drone

Our Mission

Using Hydrogen to revolutionize UAVs

We are developing a hydrogen powered eVTOL drone capable of flying over 300 km without refueling. This way, we want to build the world's longest range eVTOL drone below 25 kg Take-Off Mass. We achieve this by using state-of-the-art fuel cell systems and modern Type IV pressure tanks. This way, our Prototype "Mercurius" will outperform any other commercial drone. Our Idea was part of the top three winning teams of the NASA-DLR Designchallenge 2020 and part of the top ten pitching ideas of the TUM IdeAward 2020.

Our Team

Using Hydrogen to revolutionize UAVs

LEVITUM is a team of more than 40 highly motivated Master and Bachelor students of the departments of Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace, the TUM School of Management, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Information Technology and the Munich School of Engineering.

You are enthusiastic to revolutionize eVTOL technology just like us? Join our team!

Why Hydrogen Propulsion?

Highest Energy Density

With an energy density of 33.33 kWh/kg hydrogen has more energy density than any other element. The hydrogen fuel cell offers a possibility to use this potential efficiently for electric powertrains. Modern hydrogen tanks already achieve usable electrical energy densities of over 1600 Wh/kg. This is more than six times the capacity of modern lithium ion batteries.

High Safety Level

Hydrogen fuel cell systems are safe. Modern Type IV pressure tanks are safe against overpressure, fire or even bullet impact. In case of emergency, the hydrogen can be released through a PRD within a very short time. Due to the 13 times lower density of hydrogen compared to air, it evaporates immediately without any danger to the environment.

Low Costs

According to the US Department of Energy (DoE), fuel cells can be produced cheaper than a comparable lithium-ion battery system, depending on the powertrain. The cost advantage is reinforced by the longer service life of more than 3000 operating hours and optimal utilization due to refueling times of less than 5 minutes. There are already first manufacturers developing fuel cell systems for drones.

LEVITUM Newsroom

Latest News

September 2023: LEVITUM achieves transition into horizontal flight

Our latest subscale prototype achieved the critical transition into horizontal flight and accelerated up to 100 km/h cruise speed.

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LEVITUM achieves transition into horizontal flight

The transition from hover to horizontal flight requires the complex transfer of lift from the propellers to the wings. This maneuver can only be tested at sufficient altitude at high airspeeds and is critical to validating our design. After numerous previous simulations, we were able to successfully perform the transition on the first attempt and accelerate to 100 km/h cruise speed.

March 2023: First successful system test with hydrogen

With thorough testing of our fuel cell system on the ground, we can simulate the operation in the drone during flight.

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First successful system test with hydrogen

Exciting news about our progress: Our team has achieved a major milestone in our journey towards developing sustainable and eco-friendly aviation technology. After extensive planning and preparation, we have successfully tested our fuel cell system with hydrogen for the first time. It's amazing how much electrical energy can be generated from just a few grams of hydrogen, and we're excited about the potential this holds for the future of aviation.

January 2023: LEVITUM presents project at Future Slam

The Future Slam of the "Deutsches Museum" and 1E9 gives a platform to promising ideas that could change our future.

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LEVITUM presents project at Future Slam 2023

Our student initiative recently presented our hydrogen eVTOL drone at the 2023 Future Slam at the German Museum. The project was well received and praised for its potential to revolutionize aviation with a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative. Our team is dedicated to creating technology that benefits both the environment and society. We are excited to continue developing the project and sharing updates in the future.

November 2022: LEVITUM achieves first fully autonomous mission

With access to a new airfield in Hallbergmoos, we have the space for new tests.

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November 2022: LEVITUM achieves first fully autonomous mission

In November 2022, our battery prototype successfully completed its first fully autonomous mission. The mission involved navigating to various waypoints, demonstrating the prototype's ability to fly on its own. This is a major milestone for our project and highlights the progress we've made towards creating a reliable and autonomous system. We're excited to continue testing and refining our technology to bring our vision for sustainable aviation closer to reality.

Our Project

Bringing Fuel Cell propulsion to UAVs

The Mercurius project takes drone technology to the next level. The concept, which has been awarded as one of the best three designs of the NASA - DLR Designchallenge 2020, uses modern fuel cell technology to give drones higher ranges, minimum refueling times and lower costs.

We now bring this dream to reality and build a prototype!

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