I've been gathering several information for my project. One of them is that a flight of a RC Plane or Copter can only last for approximately 10 minutes or even lower.
I have this theory: That relatively short duration of flight is caused by RC communication.
If that theory is right, I'm thinking maybe there's a way to overcome it: ArduPilot Mega.
If an ArduPilot can take a task to get to some coordinates (way-points) & altitudes, and then get an input from a GPS about realtime coordinate & altitude of the plane, then it simply can give instructions to all the controls (ESC, throttle, rudder, etc.) to make sure that the plane sticks or gets back to its given path. This all will be done via cables because the ArduPilot itself is on-board the plane. This way, supposedly, the battery will no longer be used for RC comm.
The questions are:
1. Is my theory, someway somehow, true?
2. If it is. Theoretically, how long can the flight duration can be extended with that theory?
Maybe this time, I'll get a reply. Hopefully =)
Easiest way to extend flight duration is to enlarge your wings and buy a bigger battery. Using an Easystar with Easyglider wings and a 4400 mah battery gives flight times over half an hour, and I suspect a lot longer if you make careful use of the wind.
Theoretically you could stay up indefinately on thermals!
Wow, you guys are really open my perspectives. Thanks everyone.. =)
@Fabien Bruning, where can I get that 4400 mAh you're talking about?
@jasonshort, if I use two of 2100 mAh batteries, will it theoretically take me fly for an hour?
United Hobbies, where else! http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=...
(their A-grade is a wee bit more expensive, though I suppose that's a better idea)
Theoretically, if you double the battery capacity, you'll also increase the weight of the plane and thus decrease the flight duration. There's an optimum relationship between battery capacity and flight duration for every airframe, I wouldn't know how to calculate it, though that's the proper thing to do.
As a mechanical engineer I say take the biggest airframe you can find, put on an engine and stuff it with batteries till you reach an hour ;)
I gave the problem of optimizing battery capacity to achieve long flight times some thoughts and found a very simple solution. You are right, in the point that the problem depends on many airframe parameters, but choosing the optimal battery capacity turned out to be a lot easier than I expected :D