Simple Solar RC Plane

by abhilash_patel | June 1, 2017 | (4 Ratings) Posted in Projects

My goal was trying to make a very simple solar RC plane. This particular plane is the third iteration which is able to fly by just using solar energy during a sunny day. This video of flying it:

This is an inexpensive plane which can be made within 60 USD. (obviously excluding transmitter and receiver)

It has a flying weight of 250 grams, with a maximum thrust around 70 grams. To power 2 coreless motors 8 SunPower c60 type solar cells are used each gives 0.5V and maximum 5.5Amp (i measured up to 4.5 amp). Here the control surfaces are controlled by battery power to avoid any crash due to sudden power loss and the motor has just ON-OFF control.

 

Connecting all solar cells in series:

Switch to turn on and of the motor:

An airfoil having flat top and tail section copied from tiny trainer:

Controlling both aileron and rudder using a single servo motor:

 

Here is a video of overall details:

 

COMMENTS

Planiac01 on June 3, 2017
I like this a lot. I have been wanting to build a solar powered plane, but the cells I got before were too fragile. Where did you get your solar cells, and for how much per piece?
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abhilash_patel on June 4, 2017
hello, These cells are also brittle so I made a rigid enough wing that can not bend. I got this cells from one of hobby store in India each cell costs around 180₹, which is equivalent to 2.8 USD now.
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dholcomb on June 24, 2017
i really like this . Would you please give us a written parts list so we can find them on the web?

Thanks,
David
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