Showing posts from March, 2021

Software Notes

  This page will be updated with notes on software relevant to this project.   Furious F-35 Flight Controller and DJI FPV iNav Fixed Wing Group ArduPilot       Documentation on TailSitters       Video on TailSitters A Huge Directory of Flight Software

Other Solar Aircraft

   This above video goes through the history of full scale solar projects.   The next is a RC solar airplane similar to one I bought from Mr Watt in 2019:     Below is a very light solar RC plane with no battery: The next one is "Solar Plane V4 flying wing".  This guy has 3 earlier solar designs).   He used a 360kv motor and large folding prop.  He also has video of a long cross country mission with this plane .   He mentions a "solar bear" that adjusts throttle servo signal to ESC based on solar voltage to stay at MPPT voltage.  This is the very much like my idea of using the flight controller to adjust the throttle to stay at MPPT voltage! The GBA Solar Bear is an RC airplane for sale.   It does not have a battery but, as mentioned above, adjusts the throttle to keep solar cells at the most efficient voltage.   More here and here . Next video shows an RC plane that flew over 200 km in 2016.   Another video shows how it was built .  They did not use a MPPT and ha

Wingtip Propeller Airplanes

I asked a question about planes with wingtip propellers on facebook and got some answers.     Chance Vought V-173 "Flying Pancake    See more here .     Alice - Electric Airplane.  Looks very efficient.  The 3rd engine for safety and takeoff but not cruise.             The NASA X-50 Maxwell has extra engines along the wing for short takeoff but for efficient cruise the plan it to just use the two on the wingtips.                  This next one is the only RC airplane I have found so far with propellers at the wingtips.   It has "vectored thrust", meaning servos can chance the angle of the motor/propeller.   The creator says that ailerons take 2 servos also so the weight is about the same but if you drop fast in hover mode the ailerons can have air going over them backwards so the control becomes backward.  Also, when very near the ground in "ground effect" there can be very little air going over ailerons,  so very little control.   So for landing "vect

Key Ideas

  There are a few ideas I really like and want to explore:  1)   Foam Frame cut by CNC with covering film.   This seems to work really well .   It is very light and strong.   Covering film is normally used over a balsa wood frame.    I had not seen it used over a foam frame before.   This is lighter, more resilient in crashes, and faster/easier.   So far this seems like a great method.  2)   Wing tip motor/propellers.   I think this will be extra efficient.   I can't find either real planes or RC planes that have tried to get extra efficiency from this.  The propellers will rotate in the direction to counteract the wingtip vortices on that end of the wing.   3)   Differential thrust so no vertical stabilizer.   With two propellers we don't need a vertical tail, so can get rid of this drag.  Extra efficient.   Other people have done this.  With 2 props on wing tips and a flight controller running iNav this is no extra trouble. 4)  No solar charge controller.   We will connect th

Crowd Funded and Crowd Researched

  After I get one prototype working reasonably well I will update this page with conditions for a prize for improvements in the design. Crowd Research Prizes         The "goodness number" (GN) will be miles flown in one day (relative to air).         Improvements of X percent over the previous GN  will get a prize payout of the amount X * Y dollars.   The Y will start at $200 but can increase as we get crowd funding.             Each time a prize is awarded the GN benchmark will be adjusted.  Technical Requirements   Must use Fomular 250 or foam on Amazon   Must use Maslow CNC if any CNC unless expected prize payout is more than twice the cost of the CNC.  If a new CNC is once accepted it will always be an option for future contestants.   All parts except solar panels and Fomular 250 must be from Amazon   Must be solar/battery/electric - no gas/fuel or fuel cells, etc   Solar panels can be anyplace with public prices but we like   Must use iNav on flight con