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Hydra is a British drone technology business founded in October 2019 to reinvent heavy lift UAV’s and pioneer the hybrid Jet-Electric concept. Our unparalleled lift capacity, speed and range allow for deployment in any industry sector.

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The team have designed, developed and flown many different multi-rotor drones in various challenges over the last 15 years, these include: MOD grand challenge (final), DARPA UAVForge competition (Winner),  IMechE UAS Challenge (Winner) and BAE Systems UAV Swarm challenge. We recently won a £50k innovation grant from the UK government as part of the business-led innovation competition.

Dr Stephen Prior
CEO and CO-Founder

A recognised drone expert and a Reader in Unmanned Air Vehicles at the University of Southampton. He was a drone consultant on a £0.6m Hydrogen Fuel Cell drone project for Innovate UK (2017-19) and the Tokyo Olympics (2021). In addition to that, Dr Stephen Prior is also a Co-I on a £4.2m EPSRC Future Cities project (2016-21) with Leeds, Birmingham and UCL.

Fergus McKenzie-Wilson

An entrepreneur and Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineer, specialised in Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Additive Manufacturing, Control Systems, Multi-Rotor Endurance Optimisation and Jet Propulsion Systems.
Fergus is also an experienced FPV drone aerobatics and racing pilot and the test pilot for Hydra.

Anthony Ganjou
Investor and co-founder

An entrepreneur and investor with a proven track record of founding, building and selling businesses at the cutting edge of media, marketing and technology innovation. Anthony has founded / co-founded and overseen the creation, branding, strategic planning, development, commercialisation, productisation and growth of 11 multi-million pound businesses across multiple industries in the last 12 years. All built from scratch with four successful exits totalling £40m+.

Prof Adam Beaumont

A serial investor, founder, entrepreneur and technologist. Adam specialises in early stage investment in startups with a strong intellectual capital component and is founder of www.northinvest.co.uk, providing seed funding, mentorship and investment into the northern ecosystem. His investments include artificial diamond manufacturing, medical technology, human aviation and public safety and hygiene technologies.

Prof Gary Shuckford

A digital healthcare entrepreneur with a number of Director roles, an active angel investor and visiting professor at Leeds Beckett University. He brings with him experience of scaling businesses involving technology and innovation. Previously Gary spent over 20 years at EMIS Group plc leading strategic research and operations including healthcare defence contracts.

Jez Hopkinson

Jez is the owner and lead pilot of The Yakovlevs, a UK-headquartered aerobatic formation display team – the largest of its kind in the world. A former military pilot, Jez holds multiple civilian pilot licences and ratings, including acting as one of the UK’s leading Display Pilot Evaluators, teaching the next generation of air show pilots. Outside of display flying, Jez is a PPL flight instructor and examiner, acting as Head of Training for UK flight training organisation Airborne Services Ltd.

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intellectual property

This novel hybrid autonomous drone system is protected by a UK patent published on 25 November 2020, Serial Number: 2578083B. We are now moving forward with a PCT application, and are investigating a several patents in the areas of BVLOS and control.
"Hydra" is protected by a registered GB trademark.

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Hybrid Drones Ltd has a philosophy to only subcontract for essential items that would require substantial investment in time and cost to duplicate, examples are the Jet turbines, fuel cell, parachute system and cargo (hook, longline and net).

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