The Falcon Solar, a futuristic solar-powered flying wing

With its slender shape and vast curved wing giving it the look of a futuristic aircraft, the Falcon Solar is a solar-powered aircraft concept that retains its share of mystery, if only for its propulsion system.

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On June 2, 2014, the Si2 solar-powered plane performed its very first flight around Payerne aerodrome. The device, a little larger than the prototype which has been flying since 2010, will be used in the attempt to circumnavigate the globe which will begin in 2015. © Solar Impulse

In aviation, it is customary to say that an aircraft with harmonious lines is an aircraft that flies well and precisely, the Falcon Solar presented by the Hungarian company Lasko Design is attractive. With its large sail, it looks like a aircraft futuristic or bird of preyand it works using theenergy solar. While this is only a concept, artist views of the aircraft show a large wing stripped of features mobiles and one fuselage whose slender tail is free from drift andempennage. The “wings of raptor is accentuated by the shape of the nose of the aircraft and the curvature of the wings. Lasko Design does not hide its inspirations biomimetics.

If the look is futuristic, is this type of architecture possible? Using a flying wing gives a surface in the air more important to generate both a good lift and a blanket of solar panel substantial. The curved shape at the ends bringing them closer to the winglets found on airliners could actually reduce drag.

A credible concept?

According to its designer, the plane could fly one day and it would have all the ingredients to become a performance champion. In any case, on the images, we do not see any moving element. Will it be a question of exploiting the technique known as warping to twist the wings to bank the plane left or right to turn? This is what already existed on the first planes which, too, were inspired by birds.

Likewise, it is not known how this aircraft will be propelled or how it is supposed to take off. It seems that there is no question for its designer to reveal the technologies that will animate the Falcon Solar. All it reveals is that the aircraft may have an additional system to recover the electric charges lying in theair and the clouds. The company believes in it and intends to move from the concept on screen to a radio-controlled prototype with a wingspan of nearly 5 meters. According to him, his first test flights will serve directly to validate the performance of this model with regard to speed and autonomy.

The streamlined shape was suggested by the body of birds of prey. © Laszlo Design

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