Long Endurance

I want to build a fixed wing drone with the longest possible endurance possible. I'm thinking electric pusher(for aerial video) with solar panels and alternator(s) to charge the batteries. I have very little experience in building fixed wings but have extensive experience with multi and single rotors. And also with aerial video/photography. It can be over 55lbs, since im willing to get FAA experimental licencing for it. Im also planing on using an airport hangar so it should be large enough to be seen by small aircraft such as cessnas. The wingspan should also be around 30-40ft. And if we have to go to a gas motor, it would have to be an aviation motor being able to use AA or Jet-A fuel.

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  • Mr. Wollam-

    If I may add to the discussion, here is your handbook to success: FAA Order 8130.34C - Airworthiness Certification of UAS and OPA

    Good luck.

    8130.34C - Airworthiness Certification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Optionally Piloted Aircraft…
    • Thank you.

  • Oh my god. OK, lets just end this now.

    YOU ARE A HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN.  You have no job and no money.  You can't even drive a car let alone fly an aircraft.  Do you think your mommy's allowance is going to build you a full scale aircraft???  You just wasted 10 pages of everyone's time here deceiving everyone into thinking this was a legit project you want to start.  You don't even do your own laundry!!    

    Please stop wasting your time and ours with your study hall day dreaming!

    • You sir, have flawed logic. I have almost 200 hours(which i paid mostly for, my grandfather paid for the rest), i do my own laundry, have since i was like 6. And i don't have a study hall. And yes, i was going to work for my goal with steps(as said by @Gary Mortimer), i wasn't going to us my "mommys allowance", because my mommy doesn't give me or my brother allowance. 

    • Moderator

      I try and avoid doing my own laundry where possible. Nothing wrong with dreaming, we are all guilty of that here. Small low cost steps are always the way. There is no such thing as an overnight success. 

  • A good place to start would be getting your FAA Private Pilot License, if you don't already. You would learn a lot about the needs and concerns of flying a plane of this size, as well as the workings of controlled airspace and radio/airport etiquette. A lot of this can only be gained from real life "on-the-job" experience. 

    I would also consider eventually getting an ultra-light/sport plane. A proven airframe/power plant that you could actually fly in and get proficient would be invaluable. Then, if the gods are on your side, you could pursue converting it to a fly-by-wire craft that could be remotely operated. Testing could be done with a pilot, you, onboard so that manual flight could be opted for at any moment. 

    In the mean time, here are some suggestions, not criticisms. Forget about flying at an airport, and work up to some of the bigger RC planes while practicing your skills: piloting, building, electrical, and engineering. Go to RC airshows and look at some of the giant RC planes people are flying everyday, and learn about the strengths and weaknesses. (Also ask about the servos used and how much they cost.) I can tell you are young, and use that as an advantage. Because when you are older, your pie-in-the-sky ideas won't have that same vigor behind them. :) Good luck, and have fun.

    • As soon as i can afford it. i am.

  • At this point, this is a complete joke.  The OP has completely detached himself from reality. Every time it is pointed out that what he wants to do is illegal or impossible, his response is "not for long cause I'm gonna change that".

    Look, here comes a flying unicorn.  Maybe it can help you.

  • People are trying to help you, but you've given very little to work with.

    Don't be like "I'm going to do it even if you say it can't be done". It can be done, but not in the way you are suggesting. That's what people are saying.

    The goal of the project is still very vague to me. At the moment it seems to me that you want to make a large plane and put a camera on it. Why the long endurance requirement?

    Let me set two things straight. It doesn't have to be 65+ lbs to get FAA certification. It doesn't have to have 30+ ft wingspan so that other pilots could see it. That's not how it works. You put a transponder on the plane and that's it. I don't see how ground visibility would be an issue. An airport is not like a mall parking lot. No one's going to run your plane over.

    • No, but when the plane is in airport airspace, the transponder will work, but i also want it large enough so that other pilots can visually see it. That way we just have another layer of safety. I really don't want someone crashing into it and that causing an uproar in the media that ends with all remote control aircraft being grounded. Thats why im saying it should have a large wingspan. 

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