The X-8 was successfully flown for its maiden flight!
The X-8 is a larger airframe that we have previously flown and will be used for the competition as it has a payload capacity to carry all our equipment and endurance to last the 1-hour long mission.
We experienced some issues with the propulsion system: in the first pre-flight checks the propeller broke and ripped the motor out of its mount. Luckily we had a spare propeller and were able to repair this quite easily. The X-8 was then hand-launched and flown in manual mode, and ‘stabilise’ mode where the computer maintains the aircraft’s stability. After about 10 minutes of flight a loud ‘pop’ was heard, and the motor lost power, indicating that the propeller had again broken – but this time in mid-air! Zac was able to glide to aircraft to a safe landing without power.
The team will continue to investigate why our propellers are breaking!