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Posted by lhb009 | Jan 27, 2011 @ 01:36 AM | 4,085 Views
BYU Solar Airplane Project:

I have been at BYU working on a solar powered airplane project for a while now, and we believe we are really on the verge of accomplishing this feat this semester. We have had several models and projects attempted in the past years, but one or two semesters wasn't ever long enough to get a solar airplane built. However, our current setup is right on the verge.

So our current plane has the following specs:

Power system:
Mega 16/7/17 motor
MPJ 3.8:1 Gearbox
18x13 folding prop

Airframe:
Fuselage-Magellan E-XL
span-3m or 2m
airfoil-SD8000

So we are just researching and trying to make a plane that will work. We currently have two wings being built.The high aspect ratio wing is the 3m which has a cord just big enough for the solar cell array. The low aspect ratio wing will have a chord length to fit two solar cells wide and span will be closer to 2m.

Solar array:
24 A-300 cells
~3W per cell

So our current status is in the building stages. We are flight testing the original Magellan sailplane wing with the current power system, and it looks like we are flying on an average of 30 W. So we really should be able to fly once these wings get built.

The purpose of this project is educational. We have several students working on it for a small amount of credit.

I welcome input and questions, and I hope to receive feedback on the things we are doing wrong in our system.

I will try and get pictures and such up asap.

-Lowell