1. Subscribersonhouse
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    01 Apr '10 15:34
    350 meters at one meter high. Pretty much like the Wright brothers.
    http://www.physorg.com/news189322240.html

    I think this one was unmanned.
  2. Cape Town
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    02 Apr '10 15:16
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    350 meters at one meter high. Pretty much like the Wright brothers.
    http://www.physorg.com/news189322240.html

    I think this one was unmanned.
    The only real relationship to the Wright brothers is the failure to get to any reasonable height.
    It is not a first, for an unmanned solar plane.
    When it flies manned (which I believe they plan to) then it might be a first.
    But even then it would hardly a particularly big first.
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    02 Apr '10 20:14
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The only real relationship to the Wright brothers is the failure to get to any reasonable height.
    It is not a first, for an unmanned solar plane.
    When it flies manned (which I believe they plan to) then it might be a first.
    But even then it would hardly a particularly big first.
    Incredible potential nonetheless, the ability to fly 24/7 with enough battery power to fly all night and recharge when the sun comes up.

    There are many new apps for such a device, such as a TV or internet transponder that would stay up for weeks or months at a time and duplicating the action of satellites that do the same thing but for a fraction of the cost.
  4. Standard memberclandarkfire
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    04 Apr '10 18:18
    I think it's manned, the video shows a person in the plane.
  5. Cape Town
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    04 Apr '10 19:59
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Incredible potential nonetheless, the ability to fly 24/7 with enough battery power to fly all night and recharge when the sun comes up.

    There are many new apps for such a device, such as a TV or internet transponder that would stay up for weeks or months at a time and duplicating the action of satellites that do the same thing but for a fraction of the cost.
    Unmanned solar powered aircraft have been around for ages. What is new here is that it was manned (or intended to be manned).
  6. Subscribersonhouse
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    05 Apr '10 04:20
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Unmanned solar powered aircraft have been around for ages. What is new here is that it was manned (or intended to be manned).
    It's funny, when I first saw that piece, my sound was gone, not even a cd would play.
    As a result, for about a week I didn't bother to watch video's and that was one of them.
    Now for some mysterious reason, the sound is back (I checked device manager and it said I had no sound, now I do, go figure. I was getting ready to buy another sound card). So watched the video and it is pretty clearly manned, even though it was a test from last year and didn't get off the ground but about a meter or less, it did fly. It looks like the real deal is a bigger plane to start flying in a couple of years. Pretty amazing stuff.
  7. Cape Town
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    05 Apr '10 10:54
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    As a result, for about a week I didn't bother to watch video's and that was one of them.
    Here in SA we pay for our internet by usage. As a result, I only watch videos when I really think it is worth it. In this case I haven't watched it and am basing all my comments on what you have said.

    I must note that there is a very big difference between short manned flights and long unmanned flights (as used for TV or internet transponders). And depending on usage, speed may or may not be an issue.
    For unmanned flights that don't need to go very far, the aircraft only really needs to be able to stay up. There are ways to make this much easier such as filling the aircraft with Helium, and making it more of a glider.
    I guess that for aerial photography there may or may not be need for fast movement.
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    05 Apr '10 15:40
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Here in SA we pay for our internet by usage. As a result, I only watch videos when I really think it is worth it. In this case I haven't watched it and am basing all my comments on what you have said.

    I must note that there is a very big difference between short manned flights and long unmanned flights (as used for TV or internet transponders). And dep ...[text shortened]... a glider.
    I guess that for aerial photography there may or may not be need for fast movement.
    I wonder how much range would be gained by filling the existing wings and body not occupied by the pilot with helium?
    The problem with helium as far as long term flights are concerned is it leaks out of any container eventually so if you depend on helium to keep you up long term you are out of luck. Maybe someone will invent a double walled container where the leaking helium gets pumped and concentrated and recycled.
  9. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    05 Apr '10 17:28
    Everyone knows Icarus proved that solar flight doesn't work!
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    06 Apr '10 00:14
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    350 meters at one meter high. Pretty much like the Wright brothers.
    http://www.physorg.com/news189322240.html

    I think this one was unmanned.
    Then like the Wright Bros. first flight, they failed to get out of ground effect.
  11. Subscribersonhouse
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    07 Apr '10 05:00
    Originally posted by Badwater
    Then like the Wright Bros. first flight, they failed to get out of ground effect.
    They may have not been trying for anything more than just getting off the ground. I think I would do that first if I was the chief engineer just to check out if the wings were strong enough to support everything while airborne.
    I would suspect more testing will get it higher off the ground and fully out of ground effects.
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