Today the team of the Ryerson University Applied Aerodynamics Laboratory of Flight (RAALF, http://ralf.blog.ryerson.ca/) conducted the first flight of its solar-powered airplane, CREATeV. During the flight that lasted 2 hours and 5 minutes, most of which were autonomous, all systems of the aircraft were checked out successfully. The aircraft has a wingspan of 6.3 meters and weighs about 12 kg.
Ultimately the aircraft will be equipped with solar cells that, during the day, power the aircraft and charge batteries, which supply power during night time. This setup will enable the aircraft to stay airborne nonstop for nearly three months. Possible applications of the aircraft are, for example, long-term environmental observations as they are needed to better understand climate change related effects.
The aircraft was designed, fabricated and tested by aerospace engineering students of Ryerson University. The project is supported with unding from the Molson Foundation and material backing from Record Technology & Development (Richmond Hill) and Advanced Mobility Products Inc. (Newmarket). Furthermore, the hospitality of the York Soaring Association was greatly appreciated today.