Solar plane

Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
You've probably already heard about this.
(Hope that link works.)

I wonder what will be learned from the effort.


  • RCinFLA
    RCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar plane

    Based on the wing dimensions, I don't see where there is enough power.
    The wings provide a lot of lift at low speed but are about a foot thick so there is quite a bit of drag.

    Best case I figured about 15 kW's of panel power. They'd have to fly at less then about 8 hp to make it through the night.

    3500 lbs. total weight., 63 meters wingspan.

    1000 lbs. of batteries (assuming lithium, would be about 80-100 kWh's)

    12,000 silicon mono-crystalline solar cells, 125 square meters solar cell area.

    Max alt. achieved 27,800 ft.

    Gradually spiraled down from 27,000 ft. during night to conserve battery power.

    Corporate sponsor funding for project, $95 M.

    Next plan to cross Atlantic ocean.
    ...additional weight of life raft and survival supplies, 250 lbs.
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar plane

    It made the flight, but it sure is a long way from practical application!