Minerfly: Manned Aircraft

Our manned division of MinerFly exists to allow researchers the opportunity to test equipment requiring a fixed-wing aircraft as well as to facilitate advanced unmanned missions and help collect vital information in potential emergency situations.

Potential Missions and Uses

There are a wide variety of uses and missions that are planned for the aircraft as well as ways it can assist Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS):

Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLS) Operations: Due to current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, all UAS flight must take place within sight of the drone pilot. One of our aims is to use manned and unmanned flight together to allow for advanced UAS missions to extend on longer distance missions than what a ground-bound pilot can manage. One of the applications of longer range missions is to provide a relay platform between UAS and ground stations.

Test Equipment for Researchers: We want to be able to offer a platform for researchers' test equipment. The purpose is to carry and operate sensors suitable for or requiring manned aircraft.

Assist disaster and emergency response teams: Whether there is an earthquake, a major accident on the interstate, or a forest fire, emergency response teams need information about the situation quickly. Helping communicate information to disaster and emergency response teams is a potential application of our flight division. Combining aircraft flight with UAS flight could lead to being able to fly a drone above dangerous parts of a forest fire to retrieve data that could help firefighters save lives.

About the aircraft

The manned division of MinerFly comprises of a Glasair GlaStar. The aircraft is being fitted for instrument flight rules (IFR) and has a useful range of over 500 miles. This is an experimental aircraft that excels at slow flight with maximum visibility.

General Characteristics & Performance

Length: 22 ft 0 in (6.71 m)

Wingspan: 35 ft 0 in (10.67 m)

Height: 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)

Wing area: 128 sq ft (11.0 m*m)

Airfoil: Root: NASA GA(W)-2 airfoil, tip: NASA GA(W)-2 mod

Empty weight: 1,200 lb (544 kg)

Gross weight: 1,960 lb (889 kg)

Fuel capacity: 50 U.S. gallons (190 L; 42 imp gal)

Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-320 four cylinder, air-cooled, four stroke aircraft engine, 160 hp (120 kW)

Data from Bertrand and Kitplanes

Maximum speed: 170 mph (274 km/h; 148 kn)

Cruise speed: 167 mph (269 km/h; 145 kn)

Stall speed: 45 mph (72 km/h; 39 kn)

Range: 1,438 mi; 2,315 km (1,250 nmi)

Service ceiling: 20,000 ft (6,100 m)

Rate of climb: 2,075 ft/min (10.54 m/s)

Wing loading: 15.3 lb/sq ft (75 kg/m*m)