The Solar Impulse is getting ready for a promotional cross-country flight before embarking on a trip around the world.
But the tech that has gone into it is already having an influence across a wide range of industries.
In 1931, a Swiss explorer named Auguste Piccard took a record-breaking balloon flight to over 50,000 feet in the air. A few years later, he realized that modifying his balloon cockpit could create a new kind of cockpit–a bathyscaphe–that is capable of descending deep into the ocean.
This May, his grandson Bertrand Piccard will extend his grandfather’s legacy of exploration, piloting a completely solar-powered airplane across the U.S., from San Francisco to New York City, over the course of two months (the plane will make four stops along the way). Just as his grandfather’s balloon cockpit led to unexpected deep-sea innovation, the plane, dubbed Solar Impulse, is already having effects outside the aerospace industry. Because let’s be honest: a solar-powered plane isn’t very practical.
Piccard launched the Solar Impulse project in 2003, just a few years after completing a round-the-world balloon flight. “I realized that everything I do is dependent on fossil energy. I almost failed the balloon flight because of a lack of fuel with me, so I thought, ‘Next time I’ll make it without fuel.'” So Piccard set up a feasibility study led by engineer and pilot André Borschberg, who is now co-leading the project.
Despite all the obstacles in the way of building a solar airplane that can fly during the day and at night–namely, that no one had ever done anything like this before–Piccard and Borschberg created a prototype that they began testing in 2009. They received financing and technology from a number of private companies, including Deutsche Bank, Omega SA, Solvay, Schindler, Bayer MaterialScience, and Toyota. All of the technologies developed and improved upon for Solar Impulse, says Borschberg, were created with the idea that they could also have other applications.
“We’re not saying we’ll fly solar-powered commercial airplanes soon. That’s not the goal. It’s about stimulating innovation for clean technology and energy,” explains Piccard.
The Latest Bing News on:
Solar powered plane
- Delta is offering a special flight to view the total solar eclipse on April 8on February 20, 2024 at 9:11 am
Delta has a special flight for eclipse chasers. JoanValls/Urbanandsport/NurPhoto/Getty Images Can’t get enough of viewing a solar eclipse? Delta Air Lines has just ...
- How Ziga Dorkic built a solar powered electric van from a boxy Daihatsu he bought for $100on February 16, 2024 at 12:00 pm
He hasn't paid for fuel in 10 years, has never run out of charge, and was inspired by a famous race across the outback. Retired industrial engineer Ziga Dorkic wants to show you how it's done — for ...
- Bertrand Piccard unveils Climate Impulse, a new flagship for climate actionon February 15, 2024 at 6:01 am
After achieving the first circumnavigations of the globe in a balloon and more recently in a solar aircraft, Swiss explorer Bertrand Piccard unveils his new emission-free project: a green hydrogen ...
- Sci-fi solar EV never needs to plug in for a rechargeon February 14, 2024 at 7:00 am
California-based start-up Aptera has developed a vehicle that is solar-powered, eliminating the need for plugging in at charging stations.
- Solar-Powered Plane Completes Historic International Flighton February 12, 2024 at 4:17 pm
PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done.
- Flying Jeeps: Why the U.S. Air Force Wants to Buy One of These 3 Electric Aircrafton February 12, 2024 at 11:11 am
Small and quiet, these helicopter-like aircraft could transport supplies, medevac the wounded to aid stations, and transport personnel short distances.
- Man Who Circumnavigated World In Balloon & Solar Plane Now Wants To Do It In A Hydrogen Aircrafton February 11, 2024 at 9:30 am
Activist and explorer Bertrand Picard, born on March 1, 1958, in Lausanne, Switzerland, plans to fly worldwide with an aircraft powered solely by green hydrogen. Set to first fly in 2028, the airplane ...
- Large cluster of sunspots that can cause strong solar flares and affect power grids detected by NASAon February 10, 2024 at 5:34 pm
A massive grouping of sunspots called AR3576 that could cause strong solar flares, affecting radio communications and power grids, has been detected by NASA.
- Planet Poweron February 10, 2024 at 4:00 pm
the first solar-powered plane capable of perpetual flight. Thus, it is also a story of pioneers, scientist and inventors, one that began 200 years ago, driven by innovation. Today electricity is ...
- Flagship Climate Impulse project targets non-stop, green hydrogen-powered flighton February 9, 2024 at 9:19 am
Bringing on Syensqo as its main materials and technological partner, Bertrand Piccard hopes to stimulate climate action by demonstrating disruptive solutions.
The Latest Google Headlines on:
Solar powered plane
[google_news title=”” keyword=”solar powered plane” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
The Latest Bing News on:
- Delta to offer 'path-of-totality flight' for upcoming solar eclipseon February 21, 2024 at 2:03 pm
Delta says the eclipse-focused flight will take place from Austin to Detroit on April 8, 2024, thus maximizing the time spent in the path of totality.
- Delta flight offers front-row seats to the upcoming total solar eclipseon February 21, 2024 at 1:50 pm
The plan will take off in Austin and land in Detroit to allow passengers “to spend as much time as possible directly within the path of totality.” ...
- Eclipse from 30,000 feet? Delta Air Lines offers special flight for solar eventon February 21, 2024 at 10:39 am
A total solar eclipse will occur April 8. Delta Air Lines is offering a flight that will allow passengers to view the eclipse. NASA has guidelines for safely viewing a solar eclipse.
- Passengers sell out Delta Air Lines flight offering total solar eclipse viewing flight at 30,000 feeton February 21, 2024 at 5:27 am
Delta Flight 1218 is scheduled to depart from Austin at 12:15 p.m. CT and arrive in Detroit at 4:20 p.m. ET. The flight will be operated specifically on an A220-300 aircraft, which offers premium ...
- A Delta Flight Will Give Passengers a Wild View of the Solar Eclipseon February 20, 2024 at 5:29 pm
Delta Airlines is offering a special flightpath that will put its passengers right in the heart of the upcoming total solar eclipse in April, scheduled to coincide with the peak of the rare event.
- Delta flight to view upcoming total solar eclipse at its peak sells outon February 20, 2024 at 4:47 pm
People rushed to scoop up tickets for a Delta Air Lines flight designed for watching the upcoming total solar eclipse.
- April 8 solar eclipse: Flight from Texas to Michigan will follow path of totalityon February 20, 2024 at 3:34 pm
Delta is offering a special flight from Austin to Detroit with extra-large windows so passengers can get the best view of the solar eclipse.
- See April's Solar Eclipse From the Sky on This Special Delta Flighton February 20, 2024 at 1:10 pm
Delta flight 1218 will depart from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) at 12:15 p.m. CT and arrive at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) at 4:20 p.m. ET. That route essentially ...
- Delta offering special flight to view total solar eclipse along the path of totality in Aprilon February 20, 2024 at 12:04 pm
Delta Airlines announced its chartering a flight from Austin, Texas, to Detroit on April 8 that is specifically intended for passengers to have an up-close view of the solar eclipse along the path of ...
- Delta flight to Detroit during total solar eclipse nearly sold out, remaining seats priced at $1,100on February 20, 2024 at 8:44 am
The flight is scheduled to depart on April 8 so that passengers can spend the most time possible within the path of totality of the eclipse.
The Latest Google Headlines on:
[google_news title=”” keyword=”solar airplane” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]