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Solar Powered plane lands in Morocco

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posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 02:19 AM
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An experimental solar-powered plane landed in Morocco's capital late Tuesday after a 20-hour trip from Madrid in the first transcontinental journey by a craft of its type. With the wing span of a Boeing 777, the plane appeared out of the pitch darkness over the runway, suddenly turning on its lights and gliding to a landing in Rabat, its four propellers already still.




The single-seat aircraft is fitted with 12,000 solar cells across its immense wings and but only weighs just as much as the average family car, according to organizers.


Now although this is only a single seater, I do believe that this might pave the way for bigger solar planes in the future. With the amount of fuel a commercial jet liner uses, and the obvious costs that goes into keeping it flying, I do believe this is a very good idea.
Obviously a lot of work must be done, and much time must pass before we see commercial planes flying on solar power, but I do believe it will be possible in the not too distant future.

Some drawbacks on this plane though:



The light craft can only fly in perfect weather. The plane has managed to climb to 28,000 feet (8,535 meters) and reached top speeds of over 75 mph (120 kph), though its usual cruising speed is just over half that.


article

So still much work needed before it can even be considered for commercial use. I will hold thumbs though, that one day we can travel the skies, on the power of the sun!!

vvv




posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 02:30 AM
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Originally posted by VreemdeVlieendeVoorwep
So still much work needed before it can even be considered for commercial use. I will hold thumbs though, that one day we can travel the skies, on the power of the sun!!vvv


Given that the best solar cells can harvest 20 percent of the sun's energy falling on them, even if we somehow manage to achieve a whopping 80 percent efficiency that means we still only get 4 times the power.
That would help this particular project, sure, but its clearly not going to be any replacement for commercial fuel powered jet engines.




Four 10 hp engines, average use at 8hp = 32 hp.
Compare this with a small aircraft, of about 230 hp.


Solar cells arent ever going to do it.

edit on 6-6-2012 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 02:40 AM
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reply to post by alfa1
 






Given that the best solar cells can harvest 20 percent of the sun's energy falling on them, even if we somehow manage to achieve a whopping 80 percent efficiency that means we still only get 4 times the power. That would help this particular project, sure, but its clearly not going to be any replacement for commercial fuel powered jet engines.


Of course mate, and I understand your concerns. However, you are looking at what we can achieve now. 40 or 50 years ago, people would have said its impossible to build a cell that stores energy from the sun, and could be used to deliver power to homes, or cars. Yet, here we are.

No one knows what the future hold, and with advancements in technology, this might become viable.

vvv



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 02:49 AM
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that is cool.
even though i wouldn't risk my self being flown by a part time power source, i'm glad someone did.

i can't see it being used more in the future unless we make it alot more effecient and reliable, this is the first step of many to make clean travel possible.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 02:50 AM
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Solar powered aviation is amazing. One can only hope that solar cells get more and more powerful and lighter and lighter so that someday normal planes can at least generate their onboard power needs through solar cells. I would consider that alone a massive victory.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 03:05 AM
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reply to post by alfa1
 




Efficiency is a problem with today's solar panels; they only collect about 20 percent of available light. Now, a University of Missouri engineer has developed a flexible solar sheet that captures more than 90 percent of available light, and he plans to make prototypes available to consumers within the next five years.


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If these new super efficient solar panels does indeed pan out, this is a huge step in the right direction. It will also be able to be rolled out within 3 years, so not to distant future.

vvv



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 03:23 AM
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The depletion in the ozone layer can only be beneficial to the future solar airlines,although a wind powered craft might be the better option??? Lots of wind in the jetstream



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 03:40 AM
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Originally posted by VreemdeVlieendeVoorwep
If these new super efficient solar panels does indeed pan out, this is a huge step in the right direction.



Ah yes, I recall this being discussed last year...
www.abovetopsecret.com...

I think my comments then about that artricle are the same as now...

as is theoretically possible
While he did not provide specifics,
In the near future,
is intended to be
believes that such 90-95% efficient solar panels could be built
The scientist is now looking for funding.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 04:22 AM
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reply to post by VreemdeVlieendeVoorwep
 


Ek geniet gewoonlik jou stukkies vreemde brak, dankie - The real commercial value of solar powered aviation is low-cost replacement of satellites - not all of them, of cause - but with super efficient pv cells and lightweight battery technology we can have these albatrosses circling endlessly over our cities - no more ground based wireless/mobile transmitting towers - a double edged sword as governments are bound to pack these babies with all kinds of big brother paraphernalia.

Never mind that we won't ever fly in solar airplanes - another technology might be more suitable for manned aerial traveling :NASA: The realism and outlook of LENR



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