Solar Copter – The first solar powered helicopter

With several companies coming forward with DIY, easy to assemble quadcopters, drones have become quite popular over the past few years. Powered by batteries and operated by a hand held remote control, these quadcopters offer a bird’s eye view of the surrounding areas.

While this is the case of the standard quadcopter drone, a group of students doing their Masters at the Queen Maryland University, London has come up with a unique quadcopter design that would use nothing but solar power to fly.

Design Features of the Solar Copter

Solar Copter (1)

Named the Solar Copter, the solar powered quadcopter runs completely on solar power that the user can control with a remote. The prototype incorporates a solar panel into the quadcopter’s integral design that generates enough power to activate the propulsion system.

The efficient propulsion system, combined with an optimized solar panel and unique frame design, allows optimum thrust-to-weight ratio, thus making the flight easier for the Solar Copter. The lightweight design, in turn, increases the quadcopter’s maneuverability, thus making it easier to control even at high altitudes.

Possible Uses for the Solar Copter

Solar Copter (2)

Although we have seen a wide range of solar powered aircrafts and helicopter concepts in recent years, the Solar Copter has been among the very few solar powered designs that saw the light of the day. The Solar Copter can pave the way for a greener tomorrow and assist in producing solar powered homes and sustainable transportation systems.

While the Solar Copter is currently in use for small errands, covering a relatively small distance, its potential is limitless. The quadcopter can be used for air surveillance, medical delivery as well as search and rescue operations in the near future. Its full potential can be realized in countries that enjoy more sunshine.

Some have even pitted the Solar Copter to be a possible player in the next Mars exploration project. Current Mars aircraft are designed for long-range exploration purposes and the Solar Copter could very well be what these projects need to get close up shots of the Red Planet.

A group of students in London has created a solar powered quadcopter that runs entirely on solar power. Called the Solar Copter, the quadcopter can be controlled with a hand held remote. The team is positive that the Solar Copter would find many uses, ranging from surveillance and rescue missions to space exploration projects, in the near future.

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