June 5th, 2012, became a red-letter day for solar energy, as Bertrand Piccard landed the Solar Impulse solar-powered airplane under a full moon in Rabat, Morocco. The flight, which started in Madrid, marked the first intercontinental flight for a solar airplane. And its next jump will take the Solar Impulse to Ouarzazate, Morocco, where workers will soon begin building the world's largest solar thermal electricity generation complex. The Solar Impulse has Airbus-size wings, but its weight is only that of an average car. The wings carry 12,000 photovoltaic solar cells, which make electricity to store in the plane's lithium batteries, and to power the brushless motors for its four propellers. It can take off at a speed of just 22 mph (35 km/h), and cruises at an average speed of 43 mph (70 km/h). It flew day and night during its 19-hour Madrid-to-Rabat trip, and landed with fully-charged batteries. Piccard, who made the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight, founded the Solar Impulse project along with engineer and pilot Andre Borschberg. Piccard drummed-up backing for the project, and Borschberg assembled and led the project team. The team has now begun work on the next Solar Impulse model, which would fly an around-the-world tour in 2014 -- the same year the Ouarzazate plant would begin operation. Looking further ahead to the development of lighter batteries, yet another Solar Impulse model may be built to carry two pilots for a non-stop around-the-world flight.
This entry was posted
on Monday, June 11th, 2012 at 10:12 pm and is filed under Global Warming, Heroes, Science.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
Exclusive: Virtually everyone in Official Washington is condemning Russian “aggression” in Ukraine and demanding a belligerent U.S. response to Crimea’s desire to secede and join Russia, as a new Cold War hysteria grips U.S. pols and pundits, reports Robert Parry. By Robert Parry If you were living in Crimea, would you prefer to remain part of Ukraine…
U.S. mainstream news media, which routinely shuts out journalists and analysts who question the righteousness of American interventionism, is now targeting the presence of RT as a Russian-financed alternative news source in Washington, writes Danny Schechter. By Danny Schechter James Kirchick is just the sort of neutral reporter the Daily Beast would assign […]
U.S. government hypocrisy toward the Ukraine crisis has been breathtaking, as has the U.S. press corps’ stubborn refusal to see the hypocrisy (i.e. the Iraq War and many other U.S. interventions). William Blum looks at the reasons behind the double standards. By William Blum When it gets complicated and confusing, when you’re overwhelmed with too much…
Official Washington is in full meltdown mode as politicians and pundits frantically one-up each other in over-the-top rhetoric on the Ukraine crisis. But now the madness is shifting into legislative excesses to sanction Russia, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar. By Paul R. Pillar Seventeen years ago, Richard Haass, now president of the Council on Foreign…
Senior U.S. politicians, including Hillary Clinton and John McCain, are unleashing the “Hitler analogy” and siccing it on Russian President Putin in a reckless display of hyperbole, one with a troubling history of justifying unnecessary wars, writes Norman Solomon. By Norman Solomon The frontrunner to become the next President of the United States is playing […]
"I am convinced that the time spent by the teacher in digging out of the child what she has put into him, for the sake of satisfying herself that it has taken root, is so much time thrown away. It's much better, I think, to assume that the child is doing his part and that the seed you have sown will bear fruit in due time. It's only fair to the child, anyhow, and it saves you much unnecessary trouble." - Anne Sullivan (teacher to Helen Keller)