As a total new guy to the solar world. I think the idea of a solar powered plane is very cool. A lot of ideas come from the modeling world. A small r/c plane today, then a mid sized ultralite tomorrow. Some day a full scale Cub.
As a BIG fan of r/c planes, I would love to build a solar powered r/c plane. I just might have to try it. Maybe a build thread here on SPT.
Electricty, it is not just for light bulbs any more.
My R/C airplanes are electric too.
Andrew - the plane in question is pretty much a glider - any cargo allowance is virtually zero. It is a platform in the air. Another generation of technology comes along with lightweight storage and better conversion ratios maybe more can be done but today it is a classroom type project.
I started working at a solar store not to long ago. I started with some general knowledge, not a ton. I used to joke with the guys working there about a solar vacuum. Its a joke because solar just doesn't work that way, and it seems like everyone is wasting all this time trying to power the things in there homes that require huge amounts of electrical power. Don't get solar thinking you'll run your refrigerator, and heaters off it. instead get solar to cut costs. If your panels are covering all the little things your bill is going to be a lot less. Also with out the grid you HAVE TO HAVE BATTERIES, they are expensive and need replaced. Yesterday our battery guy came and my shoulders still feel them so putting lets say 500lbs of batteries in a glider just seems foolish (or a car ever wonder why those solar cars look so funny, they have a huge battery bank). There are better ways of doing this, much better ways than having UAVs flying around New York broadcasting XM radio.
I guess, it is possible to have a solar powered airplane and it really depends on the capacity of the plane. It is better to have a safety test before you will take it on travel.
Mod note - last of the trash links - banned
Last edited by russ; 08-12-2012 at 11:01 AM. Reason: removed link