Jan 16, 2010
Flying is a dream of mankind, although the aircraft can achieve this dream, but pollution and endurance capacity of the aircraft has been a thorny issue. Now, a new type of aircraft using solar energy as the power can help humanity to realize the dream, also it can protect the environment.
Odysseus solar-powered aircraft, it can be continuous flight in the air 5 years when in an ideal conditions.
This Z wing aircraft has a wingspan of up to 150 meters, so this form of the aircraft can adjust the attitude in the sun to absorb solar energy as much as possible. When in the dark, it keeps the the horizontal airfoils to achieve maximum aerodynamic efficiency, with the stored energy in the battery plate to drive the aircraft’s electric motor.
The design of flying altitude of 60,000 – 90,000 feet, so it can be in military reconnaissance, communications and environmental monitoring such areas as special features, such as climate change research, it’ll not pollute the environment in the upper-air observations.
United States Aurora Flight Sciences developed out this unmanned plane in the code-named "Vulture" program . The plan has been supported by BAE Systems, CS Draper Laboratory and Sierra Nevada Corporation.
Now they have demonstrated the first small-size prototype aircraft, the next step they will create a half the size of the prototype, and then within five years to complete full-size prototype of the aircraft.