In 2010 NASA launched its N+3 initiative which awarded four major airlines extensive funds to research, design and develop more environmentally friendly aircraft. Lockheed Martin, MIT, GE Aviation and Boeing have been charged with the challenge to create a commercial plane that would expend 75% less emissions and consume 70% less fuel. Not a (more…)
Very few people ever considered the possibility of a plane being completely reliant on solar energy. Such a plane would remove the need for tons of oil, and it would heavily reduce the amount of air pollution caused by planes. Solar Impulse recently made a plane that only used solar panels. It doesn’t have any oil, and it flies surprisingly well. Two pilots recently tested the plane (more…)
The Solar Impulse project is currently writing the history pages of tomorrow with its social innovation commitment to fly day and night without fuel, powered only by solar energy. It has taken seven years of research, simulation, construction and tests to achieve the first solar twenty-four hour flight in (more…)
Boeing is one of the most recognizable names in the aviation industry, so when they come up with a new design it generates a great deal of buzz. While no one would necessarily be surprised about a redesigned 747 or 777 incarnation, it is always refreshing when they announce one of their green projects. The latest of their zero emissions projects was announced the other (more…)
A slender, glider-like plane has completed the first night flight powered by solar energy, staying aloft for 26 hours and flying higher and longer than any previous solar flight. The Solar Impulse, with a 193-foot wingspan and weighing only 3,500 pounds, completed its record-breaking flight over Switzerland, soaring to (more…)
(Reuters) – A solar-powered airplane designed to fly day and night without fuel or emissions successfully made its first test flight above the Swiss countryside on Wednesday.
The Solar Impulse, which has 12,000 solar cells built into its wings, is a prototype for an aircraft intended to fly around the world without fuel in 2012.
It glided for 87 minutes above western Switzerland at an altitude of 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) with German test pilot Markus Scherdel at the controls.