Notes on life, art, photography and technology, by a Danish dropout bohemian.
When you drink the water, remember the river.
I read an article about this a few months ago. As I recall, the name has something to do with the theoretical evolutionary missing link between birds and mammals, something about this is supposed to be the connection or missing link between hang gliders and real gliders, or something like that. As for using solar cells to power the electric motor indefinately, I don't think this would support the weight. Covering the wing with solar cells would weight two or three hundred pounds, maybe 150 kg, and wouldn't produce enough power to run the motor. As I recall, the motor will run full blast for only ten or eleven minutes and will let you climb to only around 3,000 feet under ideal conditions. It is designed to get you up to catch a thermal and keep you aloft if you miss crossing back into a thermal. As for endurance, There have been sailplanes remaining aloft for over two days, usually coming down because the pilot needs to take a crap. I think the electric version, complete with the trailer and all of the hardware is something like $150,000, so it isn't for poor people who want a cheap way to fly. There are ultralights that will get you in the air for less than ten grand. I think it is intended for people who are super-serious about hang gliding or sail planes. But it sure is beautiful to watch. The only thing I am wondering is whether they have tried to hang a Rotax on it yet.
That's cheap for an ultralight. I'd like one for photos. Some of the guys who photograph crop circles use them.
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