Saturday, April 6, 2013

Something new under the sun

Solar-powered plane to fly across America from Moffit Field.

San Francisco Chronicle/Green Section/David R. Baker, 4/2/13. "Flying across America in a solar-powered plane."

So far this is 1 person airplane
Solar wing panel cells activate solar batteries
"Weather permitting, a gangly experimental airplane will roll down the runway at Moffett Field on May 1, climb slowly into the skies above Silicon Valley and fly to Phoenix — using no power source other than the sun.

The Solar Impulse plane, designed by a Swiss team of engineers and adventurers, will cross the country in five flights, stopping in Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington, D.C. and New York’s JFK airport. (One leg of the trip still hasn’t been determined. Between Texas and D.C., the plane could land in Atlanta, St. Louis or Nashville.)

Why the short hops? The plane, powered by almost 12,000 solar cells and a stack of batteries, typically cruises at 40 to 50 miles per hour. But it’s already proven that it can stay aloft all day and night — or rather, as long as the pilot can stay awake."   Read more, 34 slides, video 5 minutes.

Reference - how it works.  Orbiter.CH space News, 6/5/12, for a diagram scroll down. And from Aerospace blog, 5/31/10. "Today the HB-SIA was sun-born. When I activated the solar cells of the HB-SIA during my second flight today, the aircraft not only started to produce electricity, but it was also able to recharge its batteries. At this precise moment, when the Solar Impulse produced more energy than it was currently consuming, the fulfilment of a dream – to fly solely on solar power, day and night – came one step closer to reality. It was like a first encounter with the sun. After I had turned on the solar panel I could see the energy reserves increasing although the engines were continuously consuming power. Never before in my 40 years as a pilot have I experienced anything like this."  Note:  Upper right photograph from this article.

Backside ground view
Related articles - Paur, 4/7/10, "Solar airplane completes maiden voyage."  "Solar Impulse, a prototype of an airplane designed to fly around the world using only solar power, made its first real flight today. As the sun shone down on the Swiss countryside an aircraft powered by 12,000 solar cells flew for 87 minutes to an altitude of nearly 4,000 feet. ... The aircraft, known by its identifier HB-SIA, has a wingspan of a jumbo jet yet weighs the same as an average sedan. It made a “flea hop,” as the team called it, back in December when it lifted about three feet off the runway and flew less than a quarter mile. Today’s flight demonstrates that the airplane can not only fly, it can do so for an extended period at altitudes high enough for basic flight testing."  Note:  upper right photograph from this article.  Comments from 

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...


You are getting as bad as the girl over on patch.

Posting random filler articles that have nothing to do with the sad financial state of Pacifica.

Kathy Meeh said...

"... nothing to do with the sad financial state of Pacifica." Anonymous I spammed at 9:39 AM

So what, a little positive, forward thinking won't hurt you negative "boy". Also, "..the 'girl' over on patch" is probably a college educated journalist, whereas you are? Let's try, serial sideline complainer who obsesses on "the sad financial state of Pacifica". Did I get that right?

Meantime, since you love those "sad Pacifica financial" articles, maybe you can find such a bummer article to send to the blog (submitted with your actual name of course).

Anonymous said...

she gets paid $50 bucks an article

you get paid $0 for cutting and pasting thus she is smarter then you.

working at patch is almost as bad as blogging for free..oh wait.

Kathy Meeh said...

171^^^ Anonymous 4:46 PM (who I spammed at 9:39 AM)

Your comments proves your moneycentric reasoning is faulty, and your egocentric attitude appears to be that of a "sexist pig".

As you mentioned, I'm not smart enough to have come-up with a more elegant description of your "that girl" comment, other than "sexist pig". No apology from you, and your 4:46 PM comment made it all so much worse. You probably feel better now.

Anonymous said...

speaking of sexist Kathy, How about your Predient Obama and his sexist comments the other day about Kamala Harris?

Anonymous said...

it's spring, the guy's human