Questions tagged [solar-power]

Use for questions regarding the use of sunlight to power aircraft, usually by means of photovoltaic panels and electric-motor-driven propellers.

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12 votes
4 answers
5k views

Hovering for free

I'm thinking about light solar drones, and started wondering if you could hover while not using any power by flying downwind. Something similar to how prey birds hover while tracking the ground. It ...
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0 votes
0 answers
101 views

Make a 3 engine turboprop electric or steam hybrid aircraft?

Was thinking about this, have a 2 engine regular turboprop with a third electric engine for extra performance (imagine a DC3 like the Conroy Tri-Turbo-Three). The 3rd electric engine would be run from ...
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7 votes
3 answers
677 views

Why don't solar powered aircraft use wings with more surface area

I was looking at some solar aviation projects, and I noticed they appear to follow the designs of a glider. The Helios drone above is basically a flying wing with a high aspect ratio. And the solar ...
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8 votes
5 answers
6k views

Has there ever been an airliner design involving reducing generator load by installing solar panels? [duplicate]

Has there ever been a trial/project/design, in which solar panels were incorporated in the design of a commerical airliner (e.g. on the wings), with the aim to reduce fuel consumption by lowering the ...
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  • 107
0 votes
2 answers
442 views

What is the feasibility of solar powered drones?

What is the feasibility of solar powered drones? From my understanding, solar panels are becoming more and more efficient, in terms of weight vs energy captured, and in terms of surface area vs energy ...
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  • 2,389
4 votes
2 answers
414 views

If the the body and it's wing is mostly covered with solar panels and flies with electric motors, is it possible for that aircraft to fly?

First before I say anything else, this is indeed a stupid question. It would be most likely heavy, bulky, and expensive. But theoretically, is it possible to fly with only Solar energy? What does it ...
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  • 41
29 votes
8 answers
5k views

Could there ever be a fully solar powered airliner capable of transatlantic flights?

Could a new or a modified existing airliner, e.g., a Boeing 737, be fully powered by solar energy and make the normal length trips aviation-fuel powered aircraft make?
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7 votes
4 answers
699 views

Non-fueled, bladeless, minimally-noisy aviation engine --- Science fiction or real theoretical science?

As a non Aeronautics expert I ask if non-fueled (electric?) vehicles which are minimally-noisy only science fiction or a real theoretical scientific concept aimed for close or very far future ...
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4 votes
1 answer
692 views

In which situations can a Dual-Aircraft Platform (atmospheric satellite) remain nearly geostationary?

The Dual-Aircraft platform described by William Engblom of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on this NASA feature page and in the first half of the video of the 2016 NIAC Symposium uses the wind ...
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