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As a first step toward replacing gas turbine auxiliary power units on large aircraft, Boeing Commercial Airplanes will develop a plane that is powered by a fuel cell, as part of a study to evaluate environmentally friendly fuel cell technology.
Trina Solar Limited has announced a cooperation agreement with LISA Airplanes for the building of the Hy-Bird, a solar and hydrogen powered airplane that is set to be the first to fly around the world using only renewable energies.
September 17, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] UQM Technologies, a developer of alternative energy, announced that one of the company’s electric propulsion systems will be used in a special project involving Boeing and five other companies to develop and flight test an electric motor driven airplane powered by fuel cells. The UQM electric propulsion system is being supplied by Advanced Technology Products, who […]
Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) pilot Bertrand Piccard spoke to Facebook fans on Earth Day during his flight from Hawaii to California.
In an effort to develop environmentally progressive technologies for aerospace applications, Boeing researchers are preparing to conduct experimental flight tests later this year of a manned airplane powered only by a fuel cell and lightweight batteries.
Houston, We Have a Problem They say, “traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”. For this reason, traveling is an excellent investment. And yet, when you put your tray table up and your seat back in the full upright position, there’s always that inevitable twinge of guilt because air travel does no favors for the environment. Aviation, at present, is the archenemy of the ozone. Are we who work to combat climate change just a bunch of hypocrites as we fly across the U.S. to meet business partners, or when we touch down in Colombia to warm our winter bones? Aviation, you old unsustainable beast, it’s time for your makeover. I Believe I Can Fly Clean Enter: Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) - an airplane equipped with a 747’s wingspan covered in solar cells. The plane, piloted by the guy who circumnavigated the globe in a balloon, has trekked around the world over the past year, flying with no fuel. It’s not a quick vehicle; the technology doesn’t yet exist to make it so. During its flights, the average airspeed was about as fast as a car on surface streets (75 km/h, and recorded a max speed of 216 km/h). But what Si2 lacks in speed, it makes up for in longevity. The airplane’s 4 batteries are charged during flight when the sun shines. At night, the plane taps into stored energy allowing for continuous 24/7 flight. It’s an aircraft that gains energy while flying. Si2 accomplished a record-breaking flight from Japan to Hawaii, flying for 5 consecutive days and nights. Airplanes Running on Sunshine? For real? There’s a cafe in Los Angeles that gets bread FedEx’d in from France and serves tea that originates in Japan. Calculating the amount of CO2 emissions produced to enjoy these tiny luxuries could throw you into a minor depression. But in the future, Solar airplanes could be the perfect vehicles to transport these lightweight delicacies across the globe. Just 5 years ago, self-driving cars weren’t given a serious thought, and now we’re witnessing the dawn of that age. It’s not so ridiculous to conceive of a near future in which self-manned solar aircraft fill the sky, allowing for completely sustainable travel. Si2 cannot carry passengers, but that’s not the point. Its purpose is to demonstrate the viability of a clean technology airplane running on renewable energy with perpetual endurance. Imagine this: a solar airplane touches down in Los Angeles, fully charged after flying in from Texas during the day. You climb into the personal aircraft that you’ve chartered for the evening and take off. Peering out into the sky, you see solar aircraft soaring along at various altitudes. Then you lay back for a snooze, waking to the sunrise over New York City as you come in for a landing. You step out of the plane, guilt-free from causing any environmental harm, ready to take on the day because you didn’t spend the past 5 hours trying to sleep next to a smelly stranger pouring over into your seat.That sounds WAY better than current red-eye flights. This post was originally sent as part of the Cleantech Rising newsletter. Subscribe to the newsletter here:www.cleantechrising.com
Boeing has announced its partners for a demonstrator airplane project aimed at exploring the use of fuel cell technology for future aerospace applications. The project will evaluate the potential application of fuel cell technology, cleaner, quieter and more efficient than current gas turbine technology - for future commercial airplane products. As part of the evaluation, the project will develop and flight-demonstrate an electric motor driven airplane powered by fuel cells.
At the same time as solar-powered cars are racing across North America in the North American Solar Challenge, an ambitious solar challenge for the skies is moving closer to reality. Solar Impulse, the solar airplane project launched at the end of 2003 on the initiative of Bertrand Piccard, is now taking shape.
The speed -- 50 kilometers per hour -- may not have been impressive, but the amount of emissions -- zero -- was historic.
An airplane that never needs to land might sound impossible, but it is closer to reality now that a small solar-powered plane completed a two-day flight fueled only by energy from the sun. Dubbed the "SoLong," the craft built by the AC Propulsion company stores solar energy in a lithium-ion battery pack during the day to keep it flying at night.