6-7 Hour Flight time over ocean - some questions

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!!!!!

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I guess that was a dumb question... obviously the TAM can handle wind if it flew across the Atlantic haha

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

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)

True? 

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

We have an electric helicopter, Auto pilot, GPS. Air Sonar, Radiometric LW Infrared and Visible Cameras, 8 rotors counter rotating and we have flow it for 45 minutes and are working on 1.5 hours. www.infraredcamerasinc.com

We built it out of necessity. Gary Strahan gary@ici1.com

Gary, do you have videos/photos for it?

You should just go with an hour or two. 

If a glider will work that would stay up longer. The wind usually blows into the beach. You don't want to get downwind with it.

Flying wing electric would be great for at least an hour maybe two if your just floating around.

Look at the Hercules XL.  https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&sou...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3btsAOIDENE

David C Phillips said:

You should just go with an hour or two. 

If a glider will work that would stay up longer. The wind usually blows into the beach. You don't want to get downwind with it.

Flying wing electric would be great for at least an hour maybe two if your just floating around.

Look at the Hercules XL.  https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&sou...

We did some experiments with polarized cameras on the TV Show DRONED for the science channel.  I don't think the full versions are available to stream or download yet, but the Episodes were called Waterworld and Swimming with Sharks.

You can find previews of the shows here:  http://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows/droned/droned-videos/

We didn't do any long range flying on the show, but the Skywalker X8 that appears on the show actually completed on 66 mile flight over the water between Fort Lauderdale and Miami in August 2015.  

We were surprised at how quickly we were able to get results with a camera and polarized lens.  Right away I found that still photos worked much better than video.  It was amazingly easy to see fish (and a diver) in the water.  

If this is something you are planning on pursuing, please contact me.  I might have a lot of information I can share.

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