Hey everyone! I'm new here but I've been reading/researching around this site and its forums for weeks. I've learned a lot and tried to read about everything I could before posting my own questions. But there are some things/ideas I'd love to have some insight on!
Last year I went para-sailing and thought it was awesome how you could see the huge schools of fish, groups on sting rays, etc down in the ocean. I have a huge interest in marine life! Once I came across this site, I remembered my para-sailing trip. I want to build a drone that I could fly over the ocean and look down at everything in the ocean! I've read posts here by other people talking about flying over the ocean shark hunting/lifeguarding/search and rescue/etc. But they didn't answer all of my questions and they needed very long flight times. I want an airplane platform, not a copter. I read here somewhere that average flight time is around 30 mins. So,
1) is a 6-7 flight time possible? the previous topic I read about ocean flying was a guy wanting 15 hours flight time. They acted like it was possible, but very difficult. They told him he would need a plane with about a 16 foot wingspan and 2 gas motors with a gallon tank. What could I use/what would be best for 6-7 hour flight time? How big would the plane have to be?
2) is an electric motor completely out of the question for something like this?
3) what size motor(s) would I need/what size gas tank?
4) do they sell kits that are this big? that are modify-able (to make a UAV)? Or am I gonna have to build plane from scratch?
5) will these planes handle beach wind? I haven't really seen this discussed but it can get very windy at the beach. Last thing I want is a thousand dollar drone crashing into the ocean.
6) Is it legal? to fly over ocean water at a beach? Do you have to get some sort of special permission to fly there? Because there are lots of para-sailing boats around this ocean. As long as I stay away from them, and stay under certain altitude, can I fly where I want? or does this depend on city?
I want to take pictures of the marine life, but I will get to this/decide how to do this later. Right now I just want to know if 6-7 hour flight time is possible in wind, what kind of engine/what size plane to use, and if its illegal.
If any of this has been discussed before, and I just couldn't find it, feel free to paste the link. Thanks!!!!!
Very cool!!! Thanks!
TAM was not carrying a payload, it was also flying downwind most of the way. It was excellent though.
Gary, any insight or recommendation on a kit I could buy that will hold UAV payload and stay up for 2 or 3 hours? Is this possible?
True. If your only looking looking for a 6-7 hour flght (still very long) you could probably loose some of the gas tank in order to free up space for cameras gimbles and other bells and whistles. I guess the TAM proves that extremely long sustained flights are possible for model aircraft
Hi Dronez, regarding your questions...
my answers for some of them would be:
2) Electric motors are part of the solution.
Airframe mandatory things...:
-Charging the batteries. Solar panel on top of main wing?
-Airframe can land/takeoff on water.
-Airframe must have good soaring ability. ( landing gear retract. Drag...landing on water! *Difficult* )
The key for that UAV to stay airborne is soaring at high altitude when nothing is interesting. Capture the moment when activity is spotted. In order to "spot" these things some more electronics goodies (that I have no clue about yet) would need to be added. I smiled when I read your text. Looking down at everything in/on the ocean.... It is a dream for me to.
I'm dreaming about that UAV going for a week over the ocean to records data... and come back.
Basically, a Spirit of St.Louis
cheers, good luck on your project.
Good luck to you too!
I've read many times on these forums that solar panels cause more weight/drag and actually don't help the flight time because they don't create enough power to make it worth it. The cons outweigh the pros (literally)
And if you find a kit that would work this or your project, send me a link!
what about a sr telemaster looks like a tam 5