Aurora Flight Sciences of Manassas, Virginia that is the Boeing subsidiary, has developed an aircraft that is neither an aerial drone and nor a satellite. In fact, it is a solar-powered airplane that has three tails as well as wings. It is huge in size and wider than a jumbo jet. Now, it is all set to take off and kiss the sky. It is named Odysseus and is among the lightest and largest unpiloted aircraft built. With a wingspan of 243 feet and weighing lesser than an average car, the aircraft is about to create a history.
Odysseus has 6 propellers, powered by electricity and will be driven by the powerful solar panels enveloping the aircraft from the outside. Also, the aircraft will get its power from the rechargeable batteries stationed on board. The source of power will be decided by the aircraft on the availability of sunlight.
Odysseus has a top speed of 100 miles in one hour, which is not very fast but has the potential to go up to the altitude of 60,000 feet. Another attribute that secludes this from other aircraft options is the potential stay up in the sky for months at a stretch.
This aircraft is designed by Boeing to establish a prominent position in the evolving market for the HAPS service or High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite. This mission will not cost as much as the satellites, but will be able to complete the activities like atmospheric research, military surveillance, and environmental monitoring.
Initially, 3 prototype test flights are built that will start its journey from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico in the coming spring. In fact, Aurora is looking forward to renting space on the aircraft once the test flights become completely functional.
The initial tests will be executed to check the efficiency of the solar power and the airworthiness of the drone during the days when the sun is covered with cloud.