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UAV glider? Is it possible?

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posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 03:45 PM
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I was just wondering....is it possible to have a UAV to be launched at altitude and then find thermals to stay up all day (and maybe night)? I don't mean for UCAVs or for UAVs required to move all that much...more for ones that would be for surveillence over a fixed area (of which it could vary around to keep in thermals as necessary).

Also when was the last time a glider was used by an air-force for offensive operations? Are there any uses for them in the modern combat field?




posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 03:54 PM
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The last time I think a glider was used was in WW2 for transport purposes.
I think any role a glider UAV would have will go to solar powered UAVs like this one created by NASA that could stay up in the air for months

helios



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 05:58 PM
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Or the Blimp Lockheed is going to build for Homeland Security which can stay up for months at a time in the same position. It would carry surveillance equipment and chemical detection equipment for the Department of Homeland Security. It is technically an UAV.



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 08:42 PM
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Acually SHADOW if I remember right they kept crashing so they cancelled that program, the had trouble keeping themselves up let alone pounds and pounds of equiptment.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 04:34 AM
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Dont forget helios, in essence a glider with electric motors and solar cells. Climbed to like 90,000 feet in one test and could stay aloft for days on end.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 05:56 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
Dont forget helios, in essence a glider with electric motors and solar cells. Climbed to like 90,000 feet in one test and could stay aloft for days on end.


But when does a motor glider like that become a powered plane. I argue that the helios is a plane as the enigines stay on continuously don't they?



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 05:58 AM
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Originally posted by Infidellic
But when does a motor glider like that become a powered plane. I argue that the helios is a plane as the enigines stay on continuously don't they?


At night, the plane would loose alot of altitude because of the lack of solar power and the limited capacity of the batteries. Your right its not a glider, but fairly close, the engines are pretty weak and it is in essence a giant solar panel.

[edit on 9-8-2004 by FredT]



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 06:17 AM
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I could definitely see a glider being made, actually more of a sailplane since gliders have much smaller wings and don't take advantage of thermals. Check out the model airplane magazines. Modelers have been making amazing sailplanes for decades.



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