Experimental Aircraft 04

OPENING QUESTION: Do you think there will ever be a practical use for a solar powered plane?

Suggest a practical use or a practical reason why that plane will never be useful

 

WORDS O' THE DAY:

  1. Helios

WORK O' THE DAY:

All I have to say is *whoa*

 

x

WHOOOOOAAAAA

 

f

Or did I mention

 

ACK!

h

This was the 4th (and final) NASA prototype for high flying, solar powered aircraft:

<From Wikipedia>

Specifications[1][3][6][7]
  Pathfinder Pathfinder-Plus Centurion Helios HP01 Helios HP03
Length ft(m)
12 (3.6)
12 (3.6)
12 (3.6)
12 (3.6)
16.5 (5.0)
Chord ft(m)
8 (2.4)
Wingspan ft(m)
98.4 (29.5)
121 (36.3)
206 (61.8)
247 (75.3)
Aspect ratio
12 to 1
15 to 1
26 to 1
30.9 to 1
Glide ratio
18 to 1
21 to 1
  ?
  ?
  ?
Airspeed kts(km/h)
15–18 (27–33)
16.5–23.5 (30.6–43.5)
 
?
Max altitude ft(m)
71,530 (21,802)
80,201 (24,445)
n/a
96,863 (29,523)
65,000 (19,812)
Empty Wt lb(kg)  
?
 
?
 
?
1,322 (600)
 
?
Max. weight lb(kg)
560 (252)
700 (315)
±1,900 (±862)
2,048 (929)
2,320 (1,052)
Payload lb(kg)
100 (45)
150 (67,5)
100–600 (45–270)
726 (329)
 
?
Engines
electric, 2 hp (1.5 kW) each
No. of engines
6
8
14
14
10
Solar pwr output (kW)
7.5
12.5
31
  ?
18.5
Supplemental power
batteries
batteries
batteries
Li batteries
Li batteries, fuel cell

Remember-- Every experimental aircraft is trying to address some lack of something that current aviation doesn't provide. What problem or what purpose would such a vehicle provide?

Based on that data, take another stab at the opening question, what use does it appear that NASA has in mind for such an aircraft.

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Perhaps a hint is in order, the Helios is designed to fly at night too...

REALLY?

Yes, Really....

So... it's designed to be run on solar sells, but it is also designed to run at night... what does that say about the use of the aircraft

What does it say about the design of the aircraft?

 

 

UH OH

 

Doesn't adding batteries add to the weight?

Let's take a Wolgemuthian skim look at this

WOW-- Let's discuss

Now... where do you suppose this technology could lead?

Click HERE to find out