So now that I have the power system ready to go, I opted to go out and do a 45 minute test flight this weekend. When I landed and saw
that I had made it to about 24 miles, I opted to throw the airplane back in the air and finish the last 6 miles. The result, as you can see, is that the model traveled it’s full goal distance of 30 miles and change. This was in heavy winds, gusting up to 25 knots, so I expect to see the total time down to 50 minutes under more reasonable conditions.
Battery consumption was about 7200mAh, leaving a healthy margin for further flight if it is needed. Near the end of the flight, the cells were lagging a bit on their output, but they managed to keep the plane in the air well enough.
During the test, the unsecured wing that was low in my pattern slowly slid out of its containment within the wing root. Since there are no screws or clips retaining these wings, they can just slide out freely if the friction retaining them is not enough. When the wing slid out (it was stopped from further motion by friction from the spar) it caused a significant roll I needed to trim against. This is a problem I will be fixing before doing any further testing.
I also tried out the autopilot I have onboard but the heavy wind on an un-tuned plane combined with a non-functional GPS (don’t know why) meant it didn’t really do anything for me.