Boeing's solar-powered airplane

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Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by LockH » Jun 16, 2016 12:53 pm

Well there's something ya maybe don't see EVery day...
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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by friendly1uk » Jun 16, 2016 7:03 pm

Bloody patents. If you have an idea, use it before someone else has it. This is worse though, they don't seem to of had an idea at all. It's like me patenting the idea of walking without falling over every few steps. Or breathing. The whole patents thing needs a damn good shake up.

What is new here? Shouldn't the end bits fold up n down to follow the sun. Providing lift at times and dead weight that harvests the sun when it's at acute angles. It's a crap design with no new elements. Embarrassing.
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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by liveforphysics » Jun 16, 2016 10:53 pm

Company's will stop burdening themselves with patent related harms when they get tired of supporting a broken corrupt legal system and the parasites that accompany it.

Glad to see Boeing making a solar plane though. Pity they wish to waste resources on feeding patent trolls over coming up with a better solar plane design.
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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by Chalo » Jun 17, 2016 7:13 am

friendly1uk wrote:Shouldn't the end bits fold up n down to follow the sun. Providing lift at times and dead weight that harvests the sun when it's at acute angles.
Winglets are not dead weight. They reduce the effect of wingtip vortices and allow the wing to create more lift with less drag.
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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by amberwolf » Jun 17, 2016 1:37 pm

But does that apply as much to such huge "winglets" as pictured?

(Perhaps they are using them as vertical stabilizers and rudders as well?)

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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by The fingers » Jun 17, 2016 1:55 pm

Without a possible military application and the big Defense Department money that could bring, I doubt that the brass at Boeing consider it anything but a novelty. :pancake:
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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by friendly1uk » Jun 17, 2016 8:06 pm

Winglets so big they need winglets.
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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by craneplaneguy » Jun 20, 2016 9:13 pm

friendly1uk wrote:Winglets so big they need winglets.

That's a pretty astute observation! I know the guy who heads the company who supplies all current Boeing aircraft with winglets, (sounds like BS, but true) he has a "summer cabin" (a big ranch) in a remote part of Idaho, a bit over 100 miles from my place. I'm over due to stop in and BS with him a bit. http://www.aviationpartners.com/company.html


He has what I believe is the largest private airstrip in the US, 7500' long, paved and fenced (to keep out wildlife, you don't want a elk running out in front of you when taking off in a Lear or a G-4), and in his control tower, the only elevator in the entire county! At 400' I have one of the if not the shortest airstrips in the country, in continuous use now for 35 years, and this weird fact concerning our two strips, made us somehow simpatico the first time we met, he's a great guy and real down home, and I'm welcome to drop in there anytime. It is in a huge empty valley, and when you see this apparition appearing in the distance, it looks like something out of a James Bond movie, so unexpected and at the same time done so well, better then most good sized city airports.

Back to the winglets on the plane pictured: they do look pretty strange, hard to say how they work, interesting though!

Also "believe it or not," just last night I met my neighbor's brother, a guy in his 50's or so, when I asked him what he did, he said he acts as the interface between the performance/flying end of Boeing aircraft, and the maintenance section, or words to that effect. He started out as a A &P (aircraft airframe and powerplant mechanic) and over his years/decades with the company rose up to "keeping it real" between what the wrenchers need to be able to maintain the designs the engineer's dream up. It was a very complicated explanation, but that's what I understood. Too bad I didn't see this thread yesterday, I could have asked him! As it was, we were busy drinking beer and playing horseshoes.

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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by bobc » Jan 19, 2017 8:09 am

The vertical PV surface will allow harvesting of more solar energy early/late when the sun is low. No way you could tilt the whole wing. So there is a point regardless of them doing anything aerodynamically. (actually such big vertical aero structures could allow you to put a bit of a tilt onto the whole wing)
Rudders feel a bit redundant with so many motors....
Can't see if they've put PV on the 'underside' of the winglets - the opportunity is there

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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by craneplaneguy » Jan 19, 2017 10:40 am

Good point, have both sides of the winglets (if that is the proper term in this case) PV'd.

I've been out to the guy's ranch who designs the Boeing (and others of all types) winglets once since my earlier post, he wasn't there, he's a busy guy. I'm due to stop by again (got the skis on the plane now, and a stop by his place will be part of a whole series of off airport mountain ski landings, as he has not seen my bird with skis, and what it can do, and I like exposing him to the lighter side of aviation then what he usually dabbles in) and I will try to remember to run the above subject by him, cut right to the chase as it were.

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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by Punx0r » Jan 25, 2017 4:22 am

bobc wrote:Rudders feel a bit redundant with so many motors....
Perhaps they only provide manoeuvrability in the unlikely event of total "engine" failure?

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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by craneplaneguy » Jan 30, 2017 11:03 pm

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Over the weekend I was up by "Mr. Winglet's" ranch, and once again he wasn't around. The ranch and strip are taken care of by a full time local crew, while he does his thing creating ever more efficient winglets for airliners and biz jets, he's super busy guy. Anyway, here's a pic of the almost 8,000' long strip (mine is 400', and just grass), but to fully appreciate it you'd have to see the surrounding country, lots of nothing at all. Gorgeous scenery but not developed at all, and miles of just sage brush and 12 K mountains. His place is like something out of James Bond movie, the remote lair of the bad guy or something....it's really something. The other pic is of his thermal solar panel installation for the radiant floor heat in the giant hangar. And of the private control tower, with TWO elevators, one a typical smaller one, the other is a pneumatic tube one, like your bank uses to zip your deposit slip around. They are the ONLY elevators in the the local county, that just cracks me up. The last picture is of my plane doing its thing in the Idaho mountains on it's skis. I had my e folder inside, though I never did use it that day.
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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by liveforphysics » Jan 31, 2017 4:15 am

Those winglets are to increase flight envelope time with respect to capturing sunlight as the sun gets lower on the horizon (and break wing tip vortexs, but on a lightly loaded wing they could be quite small for that alone).
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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by craneplaneguy » Jan 31, 2017 10:58 am

Correct, though in some flight configurations, one of them could also shade the main wing a bit, my best guess is they perform a combination of things, part electrical, part aero. More then anything, I wanted to see the look on Joe's face when I showed him a picture of the thing, and asked him if it was one of his designs! Don't think so, but who knows.... It's like knowing Steve Jobs, when he was a alive that is, and asking him to comment on some feature of some computer thing he had nothing to do with! Hey maybe in a bit we'll see all the Boeing airliners flying around with giant PV covered winglets!

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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by ecycler » Mar 14, 2017 4:51 pm

craneplaneguy wrote:
1-30-17 001.jpg
Over the weekend I was up by "Mr. Winglet's" ranch, and once again he wasn't around. The ranch and strip are taken care of by a full time local crew, while he does his thing creating ever more efficient winglets for airliners and biz jets, he's super busy guy. Anyway, here's a pic of the almost 8,000' long strip (mine is 400', and just grass), but to fully appreciate it you'd have to see the surrounding country, lots of nothing at all. Gorgeous scenery but not developed at all, and miles of just sage brush and 12 K mountains. His place is like something out of James Bond movie, the remote lair of the bad guy or something....it's really something. The other pic is of his thermal solar panel installation for the radiant floor heat in the giant hangar. And of the private control tower, with TWO elevators, one a typical smaller one, the other is a pneumatic tube one, like your bank uses to zip your deposit slip around. They are the ONLY elevators in the the local county, that just cracks me up. The last picture is of my plane doing its thing in the Idaho mountains on it's skis. I had my e folder inside, though I never did use it that day.
WOW! What a setup. The striking contrast of the rustic cabins and lodge themed facade of the hangar next to the high tech private tower, etc. is not lost on me. I would love to see what the inside looks like. I bet he has some pretty unique toys parked in there next to his jets.
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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by Ykick » Mar 14, 2017 7:10 pm

craneplaneguy wrote:
1-30-17 001.jpg
Over the weekend I was up by "Mr. Winglet's" ranch, and once again he wasn't around. The ranch and strip are taken care of by a full time local crew, while he does his thing creating ever more efficient winglets for airliners and biz jets, he's super busy guy. Anyway, here's a pic of the almost 8,000' long strip (mine is 400', and just grass), but to fully appreciate it you'd have to see the surrounding country, lots of nothing at all. Gorgeous scenery but not developed at all, and miles of just sage brush and 12 K mountains. His place is like something out of James Bond movie, the remote lair of the bad guy or something....it's really something. The other pic is of his thermal solar panel installation for the radiant floor heat in the giant hangar. And of the private control tower, with TWO elevators, one a typical smaller one, the other is a pneumatic tube one, like your bank uses to zip your deposit slip around. They are the ONLY elevators in the the local county, that just cracks me up. The last picture is of my plane doing its thing in the Idaho mountains on it's skis. I had my e folder inside, though I never did use it that day.
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Re: Boeing's solar-powered airplane

Post by craneplaneguy » Mar 16, 2017 8:01 am

The control tower top level was like a big living room as I recall, nothing like the sterile, equipment filled real control towers I've been in. I believe I saw a wet bar in one corner, and lots of comfortable furniture! Tremendous view, of course. He pointed out one nearby peak, a bit above 9,000', and mentioned he has a spot he flies the helicopter up to up there to drink coffee in the mornings. This will not go over well with those who obsess over their carbon footprint, but it is what it is. :shock:

Hmmmmm," I said. A short time later when I took off for home, as it was nearing noon (too late normally in the day to be even thinking of landing a new off airport mountain site, you want to do that early as possible) I thought I'd cruise over to the site he mentioned and maybe next time I was in the area it'd be earlier and I could hit it. Got closer, closer, circled it, eyeballed it real good, and since the air up there was still "good", landed it. Took a picture, and after I got home emailed it to him. This fully established my creds with him as per back country flying, using a helicopter was cheating....landing a fixed wing up there was a whole nother level of skillset that my little kitplane totally nails. In the main hangar I saw 2 Lears, a sail plane, some Korean War vintage radial engined warbird, and 3 or 4 other random aircraft, all somewhat rare and unique. He casually mentioned that usually there was more aircraft in there, but they were at his main digs somewhere near Seattle. I'll be back up there at some point again, the entire area is great mountain biking, now that I have the BBSHD/Montague folder tweaked to perfection (?) this year promises to offer some great riding.

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