The aircraft design company, Bye Aerospace, have successfully added solar cells to both wings of its StratoAirNet aircraft.
The SolAero cells were ground tested on the 15-meter wing span of the solar-electric prototype, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The lightweight, carbon composite UAV has a payload of 70lbs, and can glide through advanced, medium altitudes – reaching heights of 35,000ft – as well as having the capability for long endurance.
“SolAero is a business and engineering partner in every sense of the word,” stated CEO of Bye Aerospace, George Bye.
“With the completion of ground tests for the solar cells on the wings, we can advance to the next stage of assembly and testing.”
Due to FAA airspace restrictions, the aircraft will initially be optionally piloted to avoid slow payload development and deployment.
Due to the use of a pilot, along with the maturity of the solar, battery, and propulsion, the flight’s preliminary performance evaluation and autoflight control optimization are executed significantly faster, and will a reduce risk.