Titan Aerospace and Its Low-Flying Satellites

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Ken Rentmeester, a regular reader of the blog, shared a news item from the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Spectrum.   Calling Titan Aerospace’s Solara unmanned aircraft “atmospheric satellites,” the article gives a brief history of solar-powered craft, including the Boucher brothers’ Sunrise I, the first solar-powered airplane in 1974, Paul MacCready Jr.’s first piloted solar-powered flight in 1980, and the current world’s endurance record for unmanned, solar-powered flight  by the QinetiQ Zephry in 2010. That airplane follows the look of the Boucher’s early effort, and Titan’s examples look a great deal like scaled-up versions of FAI F5-type models which rely on electric self-launching, rapid climbs and extreme flight capabilities to win contests. Despite great successes such as Zephyr’s, …