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Solar Impulse
#1
It looks like Solar impulse will be back in the air.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36063490

I really want this to happen and show how with the right Solar tech, we can generate power, infinite renewable power.
 
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#2
It was such a shame the plane was damaged and had to undergo repairs, which has put nearly a year's gap in their record challenge. But what a machine! There's something very elegant about being powered purely by the sun and being able to fly around the world, albeit not very fast - kinda adds to the beauty of it all.
 
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#3
The Plane is back in the air, with the repairs now completed.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36068059
 
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#4
http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2016/apr/so...paign=news

Off it goes again Smile

And it made it to California

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36123281
 
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#5
Great to see it's doing well. The photos that have been taken of its journey are absolutely stunning!
 
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#6
solar impulse has landed in Arizona!
A short ish leg of the trip, but so much demonstarted
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36186227
 
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#7
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36505748

Solar impulse, crosses america to new york
 
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#8
Their journey must be close to an end now? I think they've done a great job - just such a shame it was marred with bad weather as it feels less like a "go for it in one go" challenge and more like a sporadic flight here and there, culminating in a total of "around the world". Still, what an achievement!
 
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#9
Yes, I see your point, but from what I have read the plane is very sensitive to weather.

The next is a single trip across the Atlantic Ocean, possibly the hardest leg yet.

It is an amazing achievement, something which is a kin to the wright brother and will go down in aviation history as the 'beginning' of the next age of flight.
 
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#10
Possibly, but there's a problem with solar planes and that is quite simply that solar panels of today are just not efficient enough. Even in a lab, they're only about 30% efficient at best and in practice those on the market achieve around 20% in ideal conditions and less when coated in dust or cloud cover arrives.
However, even if they were 100% efficient, the sun emits roughly 1.5kW per square metre - so you'd always need a large wingspan in order to obtain enough energy. Unfortunately, I think solar planes aren't as viable as battery powered planes.
But you're absolutely right that Solar Impulse will rightly go down in history as a pioneer of electric flight and it is a fantastic achievement.
 
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