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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        • If we need to go over $10,000 for the AIRFRAME(i cant stress that the price im giving you guys is for the AIRFRAME ONLY), it is okay, but lets try to stay near that price.

  • If were going to go with a pre-made airplane, we could go with something like the ASH 31 7m glider, it has a 7m(23ft) wingspan and that should be big enough for a manned aircraft to see. I haven't looked around very much for 6-7m gliders, but this one is only $6060.95 with shipping, So that should be good. Since its also a glider, we should be able to get a large amount of soaring, especially if we put a retractable motor on it to clean up the airframe. Its also sold as just the airframe, so we'll have a lot of wiggle room for electronics.

    Also, I want to make it clear, there will be extensive testing and trials over UNPOPULATED areas before we even think about asking the FAA for clearance. I dont want to give a bad name to the hobby by having this thing fall in the middle of downtown. And id much rather take out some farmers crops and loose the whole thing then give the hobby a bad name. 

    • Once again, you have completely detached yourself with reality.  Not a single thing you have proposed doing in any of your posts is practical, reasonable, possible, legal, or safe. And you continue to ignore everything everyone tells you.  Why do you even post here if you have no intention of listening to what anyone tells you?

      • Im listing to everyone, exept the people who are saying its going to be very expensive(i know that) or it cant be done. Because im going to get it done. Im going to break ground with this project. 

        • Because im going to get it done. Im going to break ground with this project.

          No you won't.  Case in point of you not listening.

          • Moderator

            @ P2P

            You missed the point (not your usual style ) He IS going to break ground... at the front of his plane on the first flight. unless he takes some advice and starts smaller. 

            @matt, No offense meant to you but a lot of people are trying to help you in the right direction. 

            Time to smell the roses!

            • Im going to start small with what im flying, im going to work my way up to a 7m glider and something as complex as this. But this project is not gonna be done in a week. Its going to take years. 

        • Moderator

          But the industry is backing away from large platforms as quickly as it can. Once you go large you might as well make it an OPV in order to save yourself all sorts of deployment issues. The USA has more than enough surplus large platforms to set up orbits all over the place for decades to come. They don't have the crews though. I am struggling to think what need this large platform is going to fill? Small French airframes already fly out to 100km legally. Perhaps explain the task and then tout for the best fit solution. 

          You would not go wrong getting trying to get a Bixler to fly with an APM first.

    • Unless you have a pilot who has years of experience with autopilots and large gliders you'll be buying that 7 meter plane for a trainer. You'll probably crash it during the first flight and that's about it.

      The reasonable way to go is to buy a small foamie for learning and then go on from there. You should be ready to operate a 7 meter plane in a few years after that.

      If you really want to fly a large model without going to the gradual learning process you should buy a complete system with training from a UAV manufacturer. Otherwise what you're proposing here is both crazy and dangerous. No reasonable person is going to help you with the project.

      • Moderator

        That pilot might cost $5000 a day if he's any good. That might well be a cost saving.

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