Why and how to joyfully move our butts around town, without mucking the place up.

Tag Index

Pages with tag Electric Airplanes

  • Airbus electric airplane flies continuously for 26 days, setting world record:

    Airbus has flown an unmanned high-altitude airplane for 3 minutes shy of 26 days, beating an endurance record also owned by Airbus. The airplane combines solar panels and energy storage to enable continuous flight, and operates at a 70,000 foot altitude where there is little air turbulence. The primary goal for such an airplane is to implement a kind of very-low-orbit satellite -- that is, remaining at a very high altitude means such an airplane can perform reconnaisance or communications services like a satellite, but without the expense of launching a satellite into orbit.

    The 70,000 foot altitude is above the weather, above regular air traffic, and for example is high enough to provide a very wide viewing angle for camera systems, or for telecommunication systems, that might be mounted on such a vehicle. By operating on solar power such an airplane could theoretically operate indefinitely. But of course it is useful for it to land every so often for maintenance.

    A couple years ago the Solar Impulse solar electric airplane used a similar drive train to complete an around-the-world journey. In that case the airplane was manned, and therefore its time aloft was limited to pilot endurance. The longest flight of the Solar Impulse was from Japan to Hawaii and (if memory serves) took over five days.

  • Build your own very cheap RC solar powered airplane: For the princely sum of $60 you can build a very inexpensive solar powered RC airplane. The construction uses what looks like styrofoam for the wings, some solar cells (not whole panels) hot-glued to the wing surface, a pair of low power motors to fly the plane, and so on. Hot glue is used all over the place as an inexpensive way to hold things together.
  • Chip Yates switches from electric motorcycle racing to electric airplanes : In 2009-10 Chip Yates had intended to join the 2010 TTXGP North America series but did not do so. In this video he lies - when the TTXGP said he couldn't enter, it was because the bike was too heavy, not because it was too powerful. Otherwise the point is that Chip Yates went from electric motorcycle racing into building a fast electric airplane.