Bob Wilder owns the new world record for longest-duration indoor flight with a radio-controlled electric airplane. It stayed aloft for 4 hrs, 17 min, and 57 sec.
Wilder says it is important to perform tests to find the maximum thrust using the minimum current draw from the batteries. So he analyzed many combinations of motors, gear ratios, propellers, and batteries. "The real bottom line in producing an airplane that will fly inside for several hours is thrust versus current draw," he says. "That means the size of the battery and the size and efficiency of the motor are key."
Wilder uses a permanent magnet motor from Maxon Precision Motors (Burlingame, CA). He claims that the company's coreless motors provide the low-current consumption needed for extending battery life in competition. The motor's iron-less core eliminates cogging and provides smooth rotation even at the lower speeds required for landings.
For more information about motors from Maxon Precision Motors: Enter 539
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.