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Aerospace students set sights on flight record

Student team hopes to execute the world’s longest unmanned flight
November 01, 2019
An aircraft in the sky above clouds

The unmanned aircraft flies above the clouds.

Ryerson aerospace students have successfully tested an aircraft designed to break the record for longest unmanned flight. The plane flew for two hours, mostly autonomously, in a test flight that was captured by CityNews. While an impressive feat in itself, the goal is to achieve upwards of three months of sustained flight.

Dr. Göetz Bramesfeld, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, explained that the future model will run on solar power, increasing the potential flight time. The design has many potential applications including wildfire detection and tracking.

“Setting the endurance record is tough from an equipment standpoint,” said team aerodynamicist and aerospace engineering PhD candidate Travis Krebs. “Even with the latest in battery and solar technology, we need to build an exceptionally designed aircraft in order to achieve our goal.”

In spring 2020, the students will make their attempt at breaking the world record, which currently sits at nearly 26 days.