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Title: Aircraft

Abstract

This disclosure provides a solar rechargeable aircraft that is inexpensive to produce, is steerable, and can remain airborne almost indefinitely. The preferred aircraft is a span-loaded flying wing, having no fuselage or rudder. Travelling at relatively slow speeds, and having a two-hundred foot wingspan that mounts photovoltaic cells on most all of the wing`s top surface, the aircraft uses only differential thrust of its eight propellers to turn. Each of five sections of the wing has one or more engines and photovoltaic arrays, and produces its own lift independent of the other sections, to avoid loading them. Five two-sided photovoltaic arrays, in all, are mounted on the wing, and receive photovoltaic energy both incident on top of the wing, and which is incident also from below, through a bottom, transparent surface. The aircraft is capable of a top speed of about ninety miles per hour, which enables the aircraft to attain and can continuously maintain altitudes of up to sixty-five thousand feet. Regenerative fuel cells in the wing store excess electricity for use at night, such that the aircraft can sustain its elevation indefinitely. A main spar of the wing doubles as a pressure vessel that houses hydrogen and oxygenmore » gases for use in the regenerative fuel cell. The aircraft has a wide variety of applications, which include weather monitoring and atmospheric testing, communications, surveillance, and other applications as well. 31 figs.« less

Inventors:
; ; ;
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of California (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
672639
Patent Number(s):
5810284
Application Number:
PAN: 8-404,540
Assignee:
PTO; SCA: 330300; 140600; 300504; PA: EDB-98:119342; SN: 98002026829
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 22 Sep 1998
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; 14 SOLAR ENERGY; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; AIRCRAFT; DESIGN; PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SUPPLIES; ELECTRIC-POWERED VEHICLES; REGENERATIVE FUEL CELLS; ENERGY STORAGE; HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS; USES

Citation Formats

Hibbs, B D, Lissaman, P B.S., Morgan, W R, and Radkey, R L. Aircraft. United States: N. p., 1998. Web.
Hibbs, B D, Lissaman, P B.S., Morgan, W R, & Radkey, R L. Aircraft. United States.
Hibbs, B D, Lissaman, P B.S., Morgan, W R, and Radkey, R L. Tue . "Aircraft". United States.
@article{osti_672639,
title = {Aircraft},
author = {Hibbs, B D and Lissaman, P B.S. and Morgan, W R and Radkey, R L},
abstractNote = {This disclosure provides a solar rechargeable aircraft that is inexpensive to produce, is steerable, and can remain airborne almost indefinitely. The preferred aircraft is a span-loaded flying wing, having no fuselage or rudder. Travelling at relatively slow speeds, and having a two-hundred foot wingspan that mounts photovoltaic cells on most all of the wing`s top surface, the aircraft uses only differential thrust of its eight propellers to turn. Each of five sections of the wing has one or more engines and photovoltaic arrays, and produces its own lift independent of the other sections, to avoid loading them. Five two-sided photovoltaic arrays, in all, are mounted on the wing, and receive photovoltaic energy both incident on top of the wing, and which is incident also from below, through a bottom, transparent surface. The aircraft is capable of a top speed of about ninety miles per hour, which enables the aircraft to attain and can continuously maintain altitudes of up to sixty-five thousand feet. Regenerative fuel cells in the wing store excess electricity for use at night, such that the aircraft can sustain its elevation indefinitely. A main spar of the wing doubles as a pressure vessel that houses hydrogen and oxygen gases for use in the regenerative fuel cell. The aircraft has a wide variety of applications, which include weather monitoring and atmospheric testing, communications, surveillance, and other applications as well. 31 figs.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1998},
month = {9}
}