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.
The U.S. government says it wants to spread “democracy,” a questionable claim considering the history. Think Iran-1953, Guatemala-1954, Chile-1973, Haiti-1991/2004, etc. Just this past year, the U.S. has embraced coups against elected presidents in Egypt and now Ukraine, as Lawrence Davidson observes. By Lawrence Davidson In the past couple of years a distur […]
When Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu visits Washington, he behaves like the master of all he surveys, his arrogance extending to his shape-shifting reality about Iran, with expectations of hearty applause for his claims and robust guffawing at his jokes, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes. By Paul R. Pillar Benjamin Netanyahu’s tiresome vilification of Ir […]
Exclusive: Official Washington and its compliant mainstream news media operate with a convenient situational ethics when it comes to the principles of international law and non-intervention in sovereign states. The rules apply only when they’re convenient, explains Robert Parry. By Robert Parry When Secretary of State John Kerry denounces Russia’s interventi […]
Exclusive: Official Washington is in deep umbrage over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine after a U.S.-backed coup overthrew the democratically elected president. Some top neocons want a new Cold War, but they don’t want anyone to note their staggering hypocrisy, writes Robert Parry. By Robert Parry Since World War II – and extending well into the Twenty-first […]
U.S. neocons are wasting little time in taking advantage of the Ukraine crisis that they helped to stoke, with former Reagan-Bush operative Elliott Abrams urging Congress to pass legislation that would impose new sanctions on Iran, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar. By Paul R. Pillar The Crimean crisis has energized those who wallow in…
"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)