UAVOS in October flight tested in Belarus a modified version of its ApusDuo high-altitude platform system (HAPS) aircraft that features a 14 m wingspan.
UAVOS spokesperson Taisia Vasiukovich said on 5 November that the goal of the flight test was to verify the aircraft's power consumption, control algorithms, and aerodynamic characteristics. This modified ApusDuo has a wingspan 1.5x longer than its predecessor, improved control algorithms to reduce power consumption in horizontal flight, and new highly efficient maximum power point tracking (MPPT) energy conversion controllers. These MPPT controllers have less weight and allow UAVOS to split the ApusDuo's solar panels into small groups for more efficient use of solar energy in low and uneven lighting conditions.
There were several test flights that lasted less than one hour. One test flight took off from a grass runway using an electric winch. Another flight took off from a paved runway under the aircraft's own power using landing gears. Vasiukovich said the ApusDuo's fuselage shape has what resembles landing skids to facilitate belly landings on unpaved landing strips.
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