Aircraft

Solar electric demonstrator takes to the air for the first time

Solar electric demonstrator ta...
The solar electric StratoAirNet demonstrator prototype taking off from Northern Colorado Regional Airport for its first flight
The solar electric StratoAirNet demonstrator prototype taking off from Northern Colorado Regional Airport for its first flight
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Applications for the StratoAirNet "atmospheric satellite" include ommunications relay, internet, mapping, search and rescue, firefighting command and control, anti-poaching monitoring, severe weather tracking, agriculture monitoring, mineral source surveying and spill detection
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Applications for the StratoAirNet "atmospheric satellite" include ommunications relay, internet, mapping, search and rescue, firefighting command and control, anti-poaching monitoring, severe weather tracking, agriculture monitoring, mineral source surveying and spill detection
Each wing of the StratoAirNet prototype is packed with SolAero high efficiency PV cells
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Each wing of the StratoAirNet prototype is packed with SolAero high efficiency PV cells
The StratoAirNet solar electric aircraft has a 15 m wingspan
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The StratoAirNet solar electric aircraft has a 15 m wingspan
The StratoAirNet solar electric demonstrator prototype in the air above Northern Colorado Regional Airport
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The StratoAirNet solar electric demonstrator prototype in the air above Northern Colorado Regional Airport
The StratoAirNet prototype was piloted for its first test flights, but is being designed as a long endurance UAV
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The StratoAirNet prototype was piloted for its first test flights, but is being designed as a long endurance UAV
The StratoAirNet is destined to become an "atmospheric satellite" endurance UAV
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The StratoAirNet is destined to become an "atmospheric satellite" endurance UAV
The solar electric StratoAirNet demonstrator prototype taking off from Northern Colorado Regional Airport for its first flight
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The solar electric StratoAirNet demonstrator prototype taking off from Northern Colorado Regional Airport for its first flight
View gallery - 7 images

Just a few short months after its Sun Flyer 2 prototype completed its maiden flight, Bye Aerospace reports that another of its aircraft has completed its first test flights. The StratoAirNet medium altitude solar electric demonstrator is being developed for long endurance commercial and government security needs and will operate as an "atmospheric satellite" UAV.

The StratoAirNet prototype has a lightweight composite structure and a 15 meter (50 ft) wingspan packed with SolAero high efficiency PV cells. Under ideal daylight conditions at altitude, the array is claimed to deliver some 2,000 watts for sustained flight.

The StratoAirNet prototype was piloted for its first test flights, but is being designed as a long endurance UAV
The StratoAirNet prototype was piloted for its first test flights, but is being designed as a long endurance UAV

Though piloted during its debut, and subsequent test flights, at Northern Colorado Regional Airport, the aircraft is destined to become an "atmospheric satellite" UAV, taking a supporting role in long endurance missions including communications relay, internet, mapping, search and rescue, firefighting command and control, anti-poaching monitoring, severe weather tracking, agriculture monitoring, mineral source surveying and spill detection.

Bye Aerospace says that the StratoAirNet aircraft, and sister Solesa piloted systems, should have a lower unit cost compared to traditional systems, as well as lower operating costs, lower heat and noise signatures and enhanced utility. Development continues.

Source: Bye Aerospace

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1 comment
Daishi
Solar planes are more likely to see real world application than electric VTOL's. There is a lot of potential in solar drones specifically.