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Solarcopter: World’s First Solar-Powered Helicopter Takes Off on First Flight

Posted By Lori Zimmer On April 12, 2013 @ 5:34 pm In Green Transportation,News,Solar Power | 1 Comment

green design, eco design, sustainable design, SolarCopter, solar powered helicopter, solar powered airplane, Queen mary College

The world’s first solar-powered helicopter [1] just took off on its first test flight! Called SolarCopter [2], the model-sized aircraft was developed by a team of students at Queen Mary College [3] in the UK. It’s propelled into the air [4] using energy harnessed from the sun, instead of a fuel engine. The remote-controlled helicopter may be small, but the technology behind it serves as inspiration for larger-scale projects down the line.

green design, eco design, sustainable design, SolarCopter, solar powered helicopter, solar powered airplane, Queen mary College

So far engineers have developed sun-powered planes like the Solar Impulse [5], but the SolarCopter is the first solar-powered helicopter.  The prototype can only fly for short periods of time, but the team is working on an on-board energy storage system that will allow for longer flights.

The SolarCopter [2] is a quadrotor [6] aircraft. Unlike a solar plane, the SolarCopter is more maneuverable; it’s capable of hovering and it can move in every direction like a standard helicopter. Although it’s still in the experimental phase, the SolarCopter could serve as a model for a large-scale aircraft, or help to enhance already existing helicopters.

+ SolarCopter [2]

Via Fast Co Exist [1]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/solarcopter-worlds-first-solar-powered-helicopter-takes-off-on-first-flight/

URLs in this post:

[1] solar-powered helicopter: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1681751/the-worlds-first-solar-powered-helicopter-takes-flight#1

[2] SolarCopter: https://www.facebook.com/SolarCopter

[3] Queen Mary College: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/

[4] propelled into the air: http://inhabitat.com/solar-impulse-airplane-makes-public-debut-at-paris-air-show/

[5] Solar Impulse: http://inhabitat.com/solar-impulse-airplane-lands-in-california-to-launch-first-sun-powered-flight-across-america/

[6] quadrotor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadrotor

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