Solar

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Solar switch: Pioneer shifts to future without pilots

Article | Nov 06, 2014

A tri-motor aircraft with the sun as its energy source, Sunstar represents a bit of a departure for Solar Flight. After 30 years of building and innovation, Eric Raymond said it is time to shift the vision, and remove the pilot from the equation.

Spartan to collaborate on Sun Flyer project

Article | Oct 20, 2014

The developer of the solar-electric aircraft Sun Flyer has announced a collaboration with Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology to develop a training system.

Solar aircraft rounds the clock

Article | Aug 12, 2014

A Boston-area startup led by an aeronautical engineer (and private pilot) is working toward an unmanned, solar-powered aircraft capable of staying aloft for two years.

Briefing: Flight for a cause

Pilot Magazine | Jul 31, 2014

Two pilots from Fairbanks, Alaska, are flying to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this summer, and they’ve decided to make the journey a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project.

Around-the-world solar airplane passes first flight test

Article | Jun 04, 2014

A solar-powered around-the-world flight seemed a bit closer to reality after the aircraft designed for the mission completed a first flight test on June 2.

Electric April

Article | May 01, 2014

Two-seat solar and battery-powered prototypes were announced, and the "rock stars" of electric research and development gathered in California, marking significant progress in electric aviation.

Around the world on zero fuel

Article | Apr 09, 2014

Solar Impulse 2, an updated and larger version of the groundbreaking aircraft that has captured imagination and support around the world, was unveiled April 9.

February's Historical Firsts

Article | Jan 21, 2014

Feb. 1, 2003 — About 15 minutes before its scheduled touchdown on Feb. 1, 2003, the Columbia orbiter broke apart during its reentry to Earth and all seven crewmembers died. The group had just finished a two-week mission, STS-107, completing dozens of science experiments. An investigation later showed that damage during launch to the shuttle's thermal protection system led to structural failure of the shuttle’s left wing.

Cool Stuff: Solar Impulses's Last Leg

Article | Jul 25, 2013

After a two-month journey powered only by solar power, Solar Impulse HB-SIA’s last leg across the United States should have literally been a breeze.

Solar Impulse lands early at JFK after wing tear

Article | Jul 09, 2013

An eight-foot-long tear in the fabric of the lower side of the left wing did not keep Solar Impulse from touching down at its destination July 6, completing a transcontinental journey on solar power alone.

Pilot Briefing: New York to Tokyo in two hours

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

If Richard Lugg has his way, the next generation of supersonic civilian aircraft will shoot through the sky powered by engines that turn out a massive electrical charge, much of it converted into thrust with megawatts left over to silence the sonic boom.

Solar airplane fosters technology exchange

Article | Jun 20, 2013

Solar Impulse, with the wingspan of an airliner—208 feet—weighs only 3,527 pounds and can fly day and night.

Solar Impulse pilots review aircraft technology

Article | Jun 18, 2013

Solar Impulse’s pilots use a media event at Washington Dulles to show off the aircraft’s clean technology.

Solar Impulse lands at Washington Dulles

Article | Jun 14, 2013

Fourteen hours and four minutes after departing Cincinnati, Solar Impulse landed at Washington Dulles International Airport. The aircraft landed at 12:15 a.m. Eastern June 16.

Solar Impulse reaches St. Louis on zero fuel

Article | Jun 04, 2013

There was a moment on the flight of the solar-cell and battery-powered Solar Impulse when Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard thought clouds might rob his aircraft of power.

Solar Impulse moves on despite tornado damage in St. Louis

Article | Jun 03, 2013

Solar Impulse will fly from Dallas/Fort Worth to St. Louis June 3 despite a hangar at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport that was damaged by tornadoes.

Solar Impulse’s next stop: Phoenix

Article | May 03, 2013

The solar-powered Solar Impulse aircraft continued its U.S. tour May 3, departing San Francisco and a flight over the Golden Gate Bridge to make its next stop in Phoenix.

Solar Impulse flies over Golden Gate Bridge

Article | Apr 25, 2013

The solar-powered Solar Impulse aircraft continued its world tour by flying over San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge on April 23.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2013

It’s already reached 30,300 feet—a world record for a solar-powered airplane (and beyond expectations)—and stayed aloft 26 hours and 10 minutes for another solar-powered record. Sun power Solar Impulse prepares for U.S.

Airplane with no fuel to cross United States

Article | Nov 30, 2012

Solar Impulse, the sun-powered 25-knot airplane from Switzerland with a wingspan greater than 200 feet, will be flown to Los Angeles for a trip across the United States in 2013. The flight will be announced in December.

NASA mission could help protect GPS

Article | Sep 05, 2012

NASA has launched a two-year effort to learn how better to predict the behavior of the Van Allen radiation belts that circle Earth, behavior that can at times threaten GPS and other satellite communications. Two satellites are orbiting through the belts of highly charged particles that protect the planet from solar storms and "space weather."

Around the world in a solar plane

AV8RS | Sep 01, 2012

rtrand Piccard and André Borschberg of Solar Impulse have already proven their one-seat airplane can travel day and night using no fuel.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2012

‘American Angel’ A beautiful ambassador for general aviation Eugene, Oregon’s John Stahr, an airbrush artist, is known for painting intricate works of art on everything from R44 Raven helicopters to Global Express business jets. His nose-to-spinner paint designs are always crowd pleasers, and his RV–8, American Angel, is fast becoming an ambassador for GA.

Electric Long-EZ hits 202 mph

Article | Jul 19, 2012

Chip Yates of the Flight of the Century project took a battery-powered Long-EZ on only its second flight at Inyokern Airport in California, 120 miles northeast of Los Angeles, on July 19. He flew at 202.6 mph, breaking the Cri-Cri record of 175 mph, and ended the flight with an emergency landing.

Solar Impulse crosses Gibraltar Strait

Article | Jun 07, 2012

Flying around the world in an aircraft powered only by solar cells and batteries would surely qualify as a magnificent triumph of aviation technology. But as Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg move toward that goal with an ungainly looking aircraft called the Solar Impulse, they assert a different goal: exploring the possibilities for clean, renewable energy including "the protection of nature without ecological fanaticism."

PC-Aero goes solar

Article | Apr 19, 2012

PC-Aero GmbH's new Elektra One Solar, exhibited at Aero, has solar panels attached to the upper surfaces of the wings, horizontal stabilizer, and fuselage.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2011

Solar Impulse makes international flight Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are a step closer to their goal of circling the Earth, nonstop, in a solar-powered airplane. In May, the delicate craft flew from Switzerland to Brussels, Belgium.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2010

Either Felix Baumgartner will break the sound barrier, or the sound barrier will break Felix Baumgartner. Not even Baumgartner knows for sure.

GA and the Environment: To protect and preserve

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2009

Hangar 25 at Bob Hope International Airport in Burbank, California, has been called “the most sustainable hangar in the world.” It earned this monicker in December 2008 after the world got its first look at the $17 million structure, which features solar power, drought-resistant plants, recycled materials, and a concrete floor that uses no chemical polymers. A similar project is planned for Van Nuys Airport.

GA and the Environment: Euro-vironment

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2009

A broad-brush introduction to the politics of environmental protection gives us a backdrop for a quick review of how European general aviation is coming to terms with environmental challenges. Comparatively speaking, American public attention has only recently been strongly focused on environmental policymaking.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2008

Aquatic life blocks Florida airport Tropical Storm Fay threw a new challenge at Melbourne International Airport staff in late August. A routine check of the airport’s runway for debris turned up two gopher tortoises, four walking catfish, an alligator, and a blue indigo snake.

Capturing Sunlight

Article | Dec 01, 2005

"Feel that? I'll bet that's the trop." "Yeah, that's probably it." Bill Rieke, chief of aircraft operations at NASA's Glenn Research Center, is hand-flying a Learjet 25 from the right seat and Kurt Blankenship, the center's senior pilot and safety officer, is flying left seat as we pass through 37,000 feet about 50 miles east of Detroit. We're flying a solar-cell-calibration mission to collect data on the cells' performance.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2005

Aircraft designers look at new forms of energy Energy. It's one of those heavy load-bearing words like love or war that mean many things to people on different levels.