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User avatar
By Mobius1
#4999
Hello Aviator thanks for comming!

Its a shame about solar pannelling when applied to VTOL subjects but its understandable I suppose.

What about using Solar pannelling to power an Ultra-Light that use's a much more conventional system of take off - that being a runway. As I was saying previously - NASA came up with the bright idea of using solar to power a non-manned aircraft that basically stays in the air 24/7.

This aircraft was basically one long wing and I assume the pannelling was placed along the entire length of the wing. I guess it should be noted that solar panells have become alot more capable since the creation of that aircraft.

At the end of the day, you can most diffinatly get a manned aircraft airborn at 30~40mph and if you can get it to max out at 50mph then thats a bonus. Its not likely to get to 10000ft any time soon but its a start.

Mobius1
By aviator32
#5000
Hi again,

Yes, solar powered aircraft do exist. Paul Macready did it in the 80's and a solar charging Easy Riser (a tailess biplane based on the Icarus II hang glider) was flown in the early 80's or late 70's; but it had to charge in the sun for a few hours and then flew briefly on battery power. More recently, the University of Stuttgart did something funky too, much more advanced and elegant, and of course there is the Pathfinder/Helios aircraft you mentioned that can fly 24/7.

The big question is if these things can be made practical enough to be useful, even for purely recreational purposes. Probably not now, but in the future? Battery development and the efficiency of solar panels continues to improve. What about a lifting-body blimp using solar and human power for forward motion? (sort of a flying bicycle). Perhaps even if do-able too unwieldy to use, but it would be fun to try.

Keep dreaming - someday some of this stuff will happen!
User avatar
By Mobius1
#5001
Oh! about the bicycle thing!!

Four American university students supported by NASA. managed to create an aircraft purely powered by foot and pedel power. I have tried to locate a photo on the net but I cant find it.

There is a photo somewhere on one of NASA's sites that shows these lads flying it across a desert, I'll try to locate it tommorrows.

Heres another strange thought concerning solar panelling. What if you took flexible solar panels:

http://store4.yimg.com/I/wind-sun_1792_8641549

Then apply these panels and a small engine to a hang glider such as this 3d representation:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mplayer/cmx/glider.jpg

The wing would have to be larger due to the extra weight and the engine would probably have to be mounted underneith the wing along with the pilot. It might be helpful if the wing consists of inflated cells.

;-7 im going to bed :-D
By aviator32
#5002
Hi Mobius,

I wonder that the solar panels would be too heavy. 750 watts = 1 hp. A 2'x4' rigid solar panel generates about 85-80 watts in sunlight; and flexible solar panels are generally less efficient than rigid ones. You need at least 1 hp to stay up, an that's assuming an ultra efficient lightweight structure.

It would sure be fun though...

The pedal powered aircraft was by Paul Macready and was called the Gossamer Albatross. There was, I believe, some sort of university connection. He did it about 20 years ago. Whether there are others I don't know.

If the inflated cells on a solar hang glider were immense enough, and were filled with helium, hmmm. But it would be rather unwieldy. You need a LOT of helium to lift anything. It boils down to what's practical. But I have wondered about a human/solar hybrid using lighter-than-air technology to help along - maybe not lift the whole kaboodle, but just reduce the amount of work the wings would have to do. I don't know if it would be worth doing or not.

"simplicate and add lightness" -old airplane design maxim
User avatar
By Mobius1
#5211
Hi again!

I thought I would pop in to show the progress on my Ultra Light project. Well many changes have been made to the design. The CMX is no longer a single seat and instead it now has 2 seats with the possibility for a 4 seater version.

Since these changes have been made, the idea behind using a smaller non-conventional engine has unfortunatly gone down the tubes. The engine shell has been changed so that Rotax engines can be used and indeed the Rotax 447 UL was selected as a possible engine for the two seater version.

Here is walkaround video clips showing the 2 seat and 4 seat CMX, the differences are clear to be seen. The design has very seriously progressed since my previous visit! :-)

Microsoft MPEG-4 Video Codecs are required! (right-click | save as)

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mplayer/cm ... _2seat.avi
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mplayer/cm ... _4seat.avi

Interesting News

A university student from India called Ashutosh has been selected to represent his university in an All-Country science exhibition, he has chosen the CMX as his project and is currently making scaled down moulds of the Aircraft. Best wish's to Ashutosh and his university! :-)

Ashutosh found out about the CMX through this forum

Hope you enjoy the new walkaround vid's

Mobius1
User avatar
By Michael D. Grissom
#5217
both avi links opened into a video window that played "blank white" for about 15 seconds.
User avatar
By Mobius1
#5223
Hi again Michael!

In order to make them work, you should right click the link then click save target as.. When the file is downloaded to your choosen destination, you should be able to open it up and play it, if on the other hand it still doesnt work, you probably dont have the Microsoft Mpeg-4 Video Codecs :-/

Here are some images instead, although the vids are really much better

Image
Image
User avatar
By Michael D. Grissom
#5232
I don't see any links to click on.
My Mpeg is the latest update.
By MissPlayful
#5246
Birds!

Riding giant genetically engineered birds. Giant pigeons for fast long distance travel, giant eagles for wonderful soaring experiences. Giant ducks and geese for local amphibious work, and giant albatrosses for long distance ocean-crossing voyages. Giant sea-eagles to rescue people at sea.

Giant two-legged ostriches and emus to replace four-legged horses, only two feet to shoe, and can viciously peck opposition jockeys in races.

Giant falcons to escort Mobius1 in his CMX, and to keep the giant pigeons on their toes (wingtips?), and to fend off harassing magpies and crows. Giant owls for night flying and for catching giant genetically engineered moths.

Giant night-flying songbirds to fly over our cities and towns and sing to us when the moon is full, with songs so beautiful that world peace is assured forever.
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