Ever since the wobbly autogyro went out of fashion, engineers have tried designing a craft that gets the vertical lift of a helicopter's blades with the horizon… [Read More]
Summary… * Machine-Made
That longer flight time should make it viable for farmers to use it for aerial surveying of their land, pinpointing spots to irrigate or fertilize.
The Solar Unmanned Air Vehicle: Quad (SUAV:Q), as the drone is named, takes off vertically and unfolds to a six-foot wingspan for flight.
It needs to be that large to carry its multispectral camera for measuring crop health, as well as provide flat space for more solar cells, but can be folded up to fit in the back of a pickup truck.
Unfortunately, there's no sweet videos of the SUAV:Q lifting into the air and switching to plane mode (with appropriate sound effects), so we can only presume it's still being tested.
But extending flight time is a perpetual goal for drone makers, which continue to boost battery life and try out hydrogen-cell alternatives.
Opinion… * Man-Made
The (next) evolution of drones extends flight duration: solar-powered and a switch from helicopter to plane. #Trend