Solar Powered Air Transportation Not Far From Reality.
On December 17th, 1903, two American brothers, Orville and Wilbur invented and built, the world’s first successful airplane and made the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
One hundred and twelve years later two french entrepreneurs and explorer began a journey to fly a fixed wing airplane around the world using electric drive systems powered entirely by solar energy.
2015 was an exciting year for clean energy, as the Solar Impulse team proved that it is possible to improve life on earth by removing our dependence on fossil fuels. It is this kind of leadership and risk taking that will excite the world to move quickly away from oil, coal and gas.
The team of Bertrand Piccard & André Borschberg will continue with the adventure in April of 2016.
Timeline of the Solar Impulse Solar Airplane Project. ( from Wikipedia)
2003: Feasibility study at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
2004–2005: Development of the concept
2006: Simulation of long-haul flights
2006–09: Construction of first prototype (HB-SIA; Solar Impulse 1)
2009: First flight of Solar Impulse 1
2009–11: Manned test flights
2011–12: Further test flights through Europe and North Africa
2011–13: Construction of second prototype (HB-SIB; Solar Impulse 2)
2013: Continental flight across the US by Solar Impulse 1 (Mission Across America)
2014: First flight of Solar Impulse 2
2015–2016: Circumnavigation of the Earth by Solar Impulse 2, conducted in twelve stages over two years
This has to be one of the coolest advancements in air transportation since what happened at Kitty Hawk.
Gordon’s expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.