MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will be closing at 1:45 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 6 and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Dec. 9.
June 17, 2010
AOPA ePublishing staff
The Solar Impulse team is preparing to tackle one of solar power’s biggest challenges: night.
The team has a goal of flying around the globe without using a drop of fossil fuel. That means the solar panels on the aircraft must gather and store enough energy during the day to propel the aircraft through the night.
The Solar Impulse prototype, which has a 208-foot wingspan and weighs a little more than 3,500 pounds, made its first flight April 7. Propelled by four 10-hp electric engines, it gathers energy from solar cells on the wings and horizontal stabilizer and flies at an average speed of 38 knots.
Early this month, the prototype flew for four hours and 50 minutes, its longest flight thus far. The team reported that this was the aircraft’s first energy-positive flight. “This means, as Claude Nicollier stated, that ‘we came back with significant more energy than we took off with,’” wrote Martin Reichlin in a blog.
Aircraft Power and Fuel,
Pilot Advanced Skills
Shell announced Dec. 3 the development of an unleaded aviation fuel that will be submitted for certification as a "performance drop-in" avgas replacement.
A small team of specialists at NASA’s Langley Research Center has taken to the skies in a Falcon jet hunting bugs.
'The Finer Points of Flying' podcaster Jason Miller has begun offering live video online classes.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.