May 2016 Issue

Soarer on Electric

This segment is absolutely prime for electric power, which is attractive for several reasons. It eliminates the terrible reliability factor and is independent of density altitude. The mission only requires a 10- to 15-minute initial burn to climb to 3000 feet and begin the soaring day. If battery capacity is one hour, this is easily adequate to serve the mission needs for a backup to get home. If far out on course and low in altitude, the regime is to climb under power for another 10 minutes and then glide for around 30 miles (50:1 glide ratio), and then another 10-minute climb (if necessary) to get home.

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