Notices
Results 1 to 11 of 11
Like Tree3Likes
  • 1 Post By cosmictraveler
  • 1 Post By Flick Montana
  • 1 Post By Neverfly

Thread: Solar Powered Plane

  1. #1 Solar Powered Plane 
    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Dogbox in front of Dywyddyr's house.
    Posts
    1,786
    BBC News - Solar Impulse plane starts bid to cross US

    Plane weighs similar to an average car, while possessing the wingspan of an A340. The makers plan to circumnavigate the globe sometime in 2015. While not incredibly practical, further technological advances could enable similar planes to achieve greater efficiency, eliminating the need for jet fuel, saving the environment as well as money.


    "MODERATOR NOTE : We don't entertain trolls here, not even in the trash can. Banned." -Markus Hanke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    INDIA
    Posts
    548
    good idea


    "No law of Physics is surprising & can not beat commonsense until it does not give enough explanation logically or I did not understand it rightly or simply it is wrong "
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    Perhaps as a research vehicle. As a passenger vehicle it would be terrible. Quite slow and prone to wind share--perhaps only as a niche vehicle--tours of the Grand Canyon, Iceland and similar flights.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman overthelight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    82
    Currently going short flight range by each flight.
    Science gives people the hope always.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,095
    Pointless. Rich kids and their toys.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Key West, Florida, Earth
    Posts
    4,788
    As better photovoltaics are designed and better batteries are developed I'd think that small , lightweight aircraft could be used by individuals who, like today, want an aircraft to just enjoy on the weekends. Small, easy maintained and cheaper solar powered aircraft are something that could be very useful instead of gas powered aircraft that we use today. They would be quieter, cheaper and much more economical for the average citizen to use if they so wanted. But as has been stated here already the weather will play a significant part of flying this type of aircraft due to its lightness.
    Neverfly likes this.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,438
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Perhaps as a research vehicle. As a passenger vehicle it would be terrible. Quite slow and prone to wind share--perhaps only as a niche vehicle--tours of the Grand Canyon, Iceland and similar flights.
    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Pointless. Rich kids and their toys.
    I don't know. What seems impractical now could become something greater as technology improves. Lighter materials and batteries, more efficient cells, improved construction techniques, etc could all lead to something more meaningful.
    Neverfly likes this.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I don't know. What seems impractical now could become something greater as technology improves. Lighter materials and batteries, more efficient cells, improved construction techniques, etc could all lead to something more meaningful.
    Planes of the future won't be able to break the rules of physics. The limitation is amount of solar energy available. Even is the entire top a plane were covered in weightless nearly 100% efficient solar panels the amount of energy would still be far short of powering anything other than a really slow or low capacity aircraft. Just for kicks look at a typical sports-light aircraft, such as the Denny Kitfox, it has a wing area of 12 square meters. That would give about 10KW even with those super panels (that are at least 5 times better than anything used today), but needs a 60KW engine to fly one person a 190 km/h. Best it could do is about an hour or two of slow flight per day even in the sunniest local. Or just for fun consider a commercial jet that needs the equivalent of about 50,000 KW engines--something that would take over 10 days for it's 500 square meter surface to provide enough solar energy for an hour's flight. Sun light simply isn't dense enough energy source to do anything like the OP suggest.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,438
    I wasn't suggesting that it had to be a standard plane equipped to carry passengers or cargo. Who knows what might come from it?
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Even if this plane has no commercial applications, it was invested in as a project because it demonstrates, while getting public attention, the potential of non-fossil fueled energy.
    Yes, it's a publicity stunt. A stunt is not always a bad thing.
    If they can fly a plane on solar energy, what else can they do? The point is not to replace commercial jetliners. It's to captivate a majority audience and scrounge up support for a cause.
    jocular likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,150
    I heard they were on their way (or projecting) to make a 24h/24h plane that would use the batteries at night and both stay up and recharge during the day. Could be interesting to have instruments that are cheaper than a satellite, to monitor traffic, forest fires, etc, (as long as they dont use this to have 24/24 advertising banners flying in circles over head)
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Is our solar system moving up and down from the galaxy plane?
    By RamenNoodles in forum Astronomy & Cosmology
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: March 14th, 2013, 08:38 PM
  2. Radiation powered bacteria?
    By icewendigo in forum Biology
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: April 11th, 2012, 10:17 PM
  3. Hydrogen powered cars
    By shekib82 in forum Environmental Issues
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: June 19th, 2011, 05:14 PM
  4. Solar powered space ship?
    By Darth Lord Sidious in forum Astronomy & Cosmology
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: June 10th, 2007, 08:37 AM
  5. Bike powered generator
    By Dingus in forum Mechanical, Structural and Chemical Engineering
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: April 15th, 2007, 11:06 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •