Solar Impulse

Solar impulse for a cleaner sky and human conscience.

The cries of pollution of all kinds are hitting the sky. Global warming is as much a reality as the day light is. In that sense, when science and technology come together with their conscience in the right place, it sure can create miracles for the humankind and increase the longevity of this tiny ball of life called earth.

When Solar Impulse took off from Abu Dhabi and landed in Oman, the world exhaled a sigh of both relief and hope. Reason: The world’s first and only solar powered plane holds the potential to change the way we fly. On its broad shoulders that appear grey from the skies above, it carries the fruits of 13-years of research that went into building this plane.

After Muscat in Oman, the quintessential Ahmadabad in Gujarat played host to the plane. When it landed, the country was thrilled to be part of this groundbreaking technology invention that the world would greatly benefit from. Soon, the plane will leave for Varanasi, making it two stops in India for Solar Impulse 2. Indeed a rare honour, just around the time when India is all set to take on the world economically and historically.

The founder of Solar Impulse 2 Andre Borschberg has been at the controls when the single-seater took off from Al Bateen Executive Airport. Borschberg and Solar Impulse co-founder Bertrand Piccard are alternating as pilots as the plane goes around the world, taking over five months to complete the spin. When it ends its journey, the world would have started on a new one, that of celebrating the triumph of sun power, the new ways to harness the solar energy and of course, a better way to maintain bilateral relations with countries that provide oil to the world.

When Solar Impulse 2 wins, the new road opens into the inner alleys of human conscience.

Press link for more: Preetam Kaushik | businessinsider.in



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Swiss pilots attempt first around-the-world solar flight.

A Swiss pilot has begun the first ever attempt to fly around the world in a plane propelled only by the sun.

André Borschberg and his compatriot Bertrand Piccard will take turns piloting the single seater Solar Impulse 2 for 21,747 miles (35,000km) over 12 legs, including gruelling five- to six-day stints across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The entire journey will take five months.

Borschberg took the controls for the takeoff at Al-Bateen executive airport in Abu Dhabi early on Monday. Its first destination is Muscat in Oman.

The pilots will endure roughly 250 hours each inside a narrow cockpit with no oxygen or temperature control. Temperatures outside will range between -40C to 40C.

“To fly with the sun, day and night, we had to build an aircraft that is extremely energy efficient. These technologies that provide energy efficiency can be used in your home, in your car, in the appliances that you buy,” he said.

The four motors that power the aircraft generate about half the power of a motorcross bike. But unlike conventional engines they lose only 3% of their energy through heat. The standard loss, says Borschberg, an engineer, is around 70%. According to the International Energy Agency, energy efficiency is the single cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions across the world.

“With these technologies we can cope with a major part of the challenge we are facing today in terms of energy, environment, pollution, natural resources and so on,” says Borschberg.

Press link for more: Karl Mathiesen | theguardian.com