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Solar Powered Plane tested on the runway

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posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 12:36 AM
I thought this was interesting.

Solar Impulse's HB-SIA solar-powered airplane was runway tested last week. The prototype aircraft is made of lightweight materials, weighing only 3,500 pounds and it has a wingspan of 210 feet. It is powered entirely by the 11,000 solar cells covering its wings. It is intended to fly at only 28 miles per hour to keep energy consumption low. It will store solar energy for night flight

Founder of Solar Impulse, Bertrand Piccard, a former astronaut and the first man to circle the world nonstop in a balloon, hopes to perform the same feet in a solar-powered plane derived from on the HB-SIA design. Solar Impulse aims to test the prototype in flight next year and to achieve a 36-hour flight without fuel shortly after that. Results from these tests will be used to build a solar-powered plane to will attempt a transcontinental flight sometime after 2012.

Here's a video of the plane on the runway:

Who will be the first to ride in a solar powered plane? Would people on here volunteer to ride in one?

posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 01:10 AM
No way, what happens if it gets too cloudy and the batteries run out?

posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 01:38 AM

No way, what happens if it gets too cloudy and the batteries run out?

It is intended to fly at only 28 miles per hour to keep energy consumption low. It will store solar energy for night flight
from the OP

Can you imagine where we would be if we had begun this massive push to harness the incredible power of the sun back in the 50's when we discovered that it was a viable pursuit??

I fear that I myself would be a bit skittish to take a long, record setting, flight. I can say for certain though that I would not be afraid to take a ride.

Edit: BB code

[edit on 11/28/2009 by AlienChaser]

posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 03:20 AM
Roughly 1kW per square meter (on average) falls on this beloved earth of ours.

Current solar panels are around 20% efficient at best.

A jumbo jet produces something in the order of 50 000kW.

Methinks there is some ground to make up.

I believe solar is the way but not by slapping solar panels on the wings of planes.

That said, very interesting post though, it proves that the seemingly unachievable is achievable. The first internal combustion engine was a 1 litre, 1 cylinder 1 horsepower (746W) engine and it was said that engines would never make planes fly.

posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 04:17 AM
Well, I'm impressed!

I'd fly it. Not over an ocean until its proven, but over a flat airfield, definitely. Any aircraft designed for low powered flight at 28mph is by definition virtually a glider. Its not easy to crash a glider, unless you aim it at the ground,or go into a spin, because descent raises airspeed which generates lift, reducing your problem.

posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 04:36 AM
I would be OK with taking a ride in it if it had a backup source of energy. Solar power is great but not something i want to depend on when 35k in the air.

posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 05:20 AM
solar powered flight has been proved viable by UAVs before.

On August 14, 2001, the Helios Prototype piloted remotely by Greg Kendall reached an altitude of 96,863 feet (29,523.8 m), a world record for sustained horizontal flight by a winged aircraft.[12] The altitude reached was more than 11,000 feet (3,352.8 m) — or more than 2 miles (3.2 km) — above the previous altitude record for sustained flight by a winged aircraft. In addition, the aircraft spent more than 40 minutes above 96,000 feet (29,260.8 m).



and there's already a solar-assisted sailplane flying


posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 11:12 AM
dunno how i managed to ignore this one. solar impulse has achieved first flight, or a hop.

warning: you will see grown-up men hugging and grinning like kids.

as soon as i saw the wheels lift off from the runway, i had this feeling that i am watching the dawn of a new age of aviation unfolding right before my eyes.

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