Pterosoar-B

2008

The Pterosoar-B is an autonomous, battery-powered variant of the Pterosoar-FC Fuel Cell airplane.   The plane was designed to break several official FAI world aviation records in the now-retired F8-S category (Battery-powered, 5kg limit, autonomous UAV).  The B model Pterosoar incorporated several design changes in the wing as well as propulsion and control systems from the Pterosoar-FC.  The aircraft exceeded two world records during a single mission, prior to the elimination of the category:  Closed course distance, and duration.

Specification List: 

Wingspan:              16 ft

Aspect Ratio:         20

Fuselage Length:    6.7 ft

Empty Weight:       5.14 lb

Gross Weight:        11 lb

Cruise Power: 65 Watts

Features:

  •         Ram air inlets located forward of the wing to provide cooling for the propulsion system.
  •         Lightweight composite molded construction
  •         2 piece wing for ease of transportation
  •         Picollo II Autopilot
Team Info: 

Oklahoma State University Team:

Design and Fabrication of Aircraft:

Ryan Paul

Dustin Gamble

Dr. Andrew Arena

Test Pilot:

Dan Bierly

Officials and Observers:

Don Lambring  (NAC Official Observer)

Dr. Ron Delahoussaye

Cody Pinkerman

Valentin Sanchez

Joe Conner

Contest Summary: 

The mission was flown so establish records for both range in a closed course, as well as endurance.  The closed course was defined by two waypoints spaced 500m apart.  This required the airplane to be flown at a compromise power setting closer to the max range condition.  The Pterosoar-B model took off by a hand launch performed by Ryan Paul at 7:04:29 AM on June 30, 2008 in Chilocco, OK.   The commanded altitude was 1400ft MSL (250ft AGL) which was maintained within less than 20ft for the entire flight while on autopilot.  The first waypoint the autopilot crossed was Waypoint 0, and after the aircraft returned to Waypoint 0 the first lap was counted.  Each time Waypoint 0 was crossed with the aircraft traveling northbound one of our observers would record the lap with his lap counter.  This continued until shortly before landing, when the aircraft exited the course in order to execute a landing.

Final Results:

Laps:  122

Official Range: 122 kilometers (75.8 miles)

Endurance:  6 hours, 15 minutes, 56 seconds

Both the closed course range as well as the endurance, exceeded the existing records for these categories at that time.  The F8-S (Autonomous, battery powered, sub 5kg) category was eliminated as the sanctions were being ratified.

Sponsors: 

Oklahoma State University

    Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Consortium

Category: 
Research and Project
Research Category: 
Battery powered autonomous endurance airplane