Carbon fiber plane
The carbon fiber Aquila solar plane have had its’ first successful flight, when it flew for 96 minutes at a few thousand feet. It was launched on June 28 2016 in Yuma, Arizona.
After two years of manufacturing, it was expected that Aquila would fly for 30 minutes, but during the test everything went beyond expectation and the engineers kept it flying. Despite the great success, Mark Zuckerberg and the team will have to keep developing the Aquila solar plane. They hope to have a fleet of planes, that can fly for months at a time and communicate with each other, to deliver internet access across the world.
The following are some of the key points they will come across, in order for Aquila to function as planned.
Weight of Aquila
The Aquila plane have been made of carbon fiber to reduce the total weight as much as possible. The wingspan of Aquila is bigger than a Boeing 737, but it only weighs 400 kilos. Despite the low weight, the team will have to optimize the plane even more for it to fly for month and use as little energy as possible.
The Aquila is designed to be hyper efficient and be able to fly for month. Even though the plane has the wingspan of an Boeing 737 it will only consume 5000 watts when flying on cruise mode at 60.000 feet. This is the same amount as a microwave or 3 hair dryers.
Aquila has been made self-sufficient, but it still relies on a team of skilled technicians and engineers, to control its direction and flight. In order to keep the aircraft on the right altitude and direction, it has been controlled with the help of special software that has been specifically developed for this purpose.
The takeoff and the landing of the aircraft have been kept automatic, because it can not be landed as precise as it requires by a person.
Aquila is very slow because of it's huge size. In order to use the least amount of energy, Aquila needs to fly as slow as possible. It flies less than 80 miles per hour. Because of the slow speed is allows Aquila to stay in the air for months.
Work is being done to make it possible for Aquila to carry the communication. It will consist of a special lasers that can transfer data more than 10 timer faster than the traditional systems. It will be able to hit a dime more than 11 miles away while being in motion.
The team is looking forward to keep testing Aquila for the next few years. The goal is to fly higher and longer, and help more than 4 billion people without access to all the opportunities that the internet can provide. The best thing about this plane is that it has been manufactured mainly with carbon fiber.
As a result of this we should be supportive on such innovation, as they will change the way we travel and communicate with the world. Carbon fiber material is used in more industries now than ever before. This gives us at Carbon Fiber Lifestyle a better opportunity to create and design beautiful carbon fiber products and accessories to you.
Images taken from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/the-technology-behind-aquila/10153916136506634