Solar Impulse successfully completes solar-powered flight around the world

July 26, 2016 by  
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Today, Solar Impulse 2 completed its epic round-the-world journey, powered only by the sun’s energy. Swiss pilot and initiator Bertrand Piccard landed the experimental solar-powered aircraft in Abu Dhabi after 48 hours in flight from Cairo, Egypt—the 17th and final leg of an adventure that began more than a year ago. Taking turns piloting each leg of the journey, Piccard and SI co-founder André Borschberg have bagged numerous world records and a cumulative 558 hours of flight time to achieve their shared goal, all without burning a single drop of fossil fuel. Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on March 9, 2015, embarking on the first-ever solar-powered flight around the world. The pilots took turns, each flying a leg of the journey in the one-man lightweight airplane while the other rested after each arduous flight. Although the journey wasn’t without hiccups, including a months-long layover in Hawaii following a battery failure, the two pilots successfully and safely demonstrated the awesome power of solar energy, while spreading awareness and education along their flight path and, indeed, around the rest of the world. Related: Facebook’s solar-powered drone takes its first flight Ten days after Borschberg landed the 100-percent solar-powered plant in Cairo, Piccard climbed into the cockpit to prepare for the circumnavigation’s final leg. Solar Impulse 2 took off at 1:28am local time July 24, heading for Abu Dhabi . Before takeoff, Piccard shared thoughts about departing the city that marked the beginning and end of his 1999 round-the-world balloon flight. “It’s very emotional to take off from Egypt with SI2…” he said. “It’s precisely here that started my dream of making another circumnavigation, but this time without fuel, only on solar power. I’m excited to come so close to the goal, but unfortunately there are still so many people we have to motivate before having a world running on the same clean technologies.” Solar Impulse 2 landed safely in Abu Dhabi at 4:05 am local time on July 26, with an elapsed flight time of 48 hours and 37 minutes. The plane’s trip around the world took 23 days, covered 43,041 kilometers and set 19 world records (11 of which are pending ratification). Upon landing and exiting the cockpit, Piccard said: “This is not only a first in the history of aviation; it’s before all a first in the history of energy. I’m sure that within 10 years we’ll see electric airplanes transporting 50 passengers on short to medium haul flights. But it’s not enough. The same clean technologies used on Solar Impulse could be implemented on the ground in our daily life to divide by two the CO2 emissions in a profitable way. Solar Impulse is only the beginning, now take it further! ” + Solar Impulse Images via Solar Impulse

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Solar Impulse successfully completes solar-powered flight around the world

Facebook’s solar-powered drone beams internet in flight for the first time

July 22, 2016 by  
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The long-awaited first flight of Facebook’s solar-powered, internet-beaming drone went off without a hitch just a few weeks ago. Yesterday, the social media giant finally shared video footage of Aquila’s first flight, which took place on June 28. The flight lasted 96 minutes and came just one month after the plane’s initial test flights, as Facebook scrambles to make up some of the lost time the project has suffered due to multiple delays. CEO Mark Zuckerberg attended the flight, watching from the ground as the solar-powered airplane took off before dawn near Yuma, Arizona. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOez_Hk80TI Facebook (and more specifically the Facebook Connectivity Lab) has been teasing the tech world for nearly two years with its plans for a solar-powered unmanned airplane (or simply, a drone) that could someday beam internet service. The vision is for a slew of these high-tech drones to fly simultaneously, all beaming down internet signal to create a worldwide network of free access. Although Facebook’s engineers have been hard at work on the drone technology, the company isn’t taking on the data service portion of the dream just yet. The California-based company will instead look to a partner to provide the network service, just as soon as they find a suitable match. Related: Facebook unveils solar-powered Aquila plane that will beam internet to remote locations Zuckerberg posted about the plane’s technology on Facebook this morning, revealing his optimism for the project’s future. “Our original mission was to fly Aquila for 30 minutes, but things went so well that we decided to keep the plane up for 96 minutes,” he wrote. “We gathered lots of data about our models and the aircraft structure—and after two years of development, it was emotional to see Aquila actually get off the ground.” Aquila’s wingspan is wider than that of a Boeing 737, but the plane is ultra lightweight for its size, coming in under 1,000 lbs. Each plane is designed to circle in a 60-mile radius, consuming only 5,000 watts of electricity (the equivalent of running three hair dryers). The solar-powered drones will fly at 60,000 feet, which is above the clouds, ensuring that they can harvest enough solar energy to power the plane through the day and night. In fact, the end goal is to fly the drones for months at a time, so continuous access to the sun’s rays is key. Test flights were originally planned for summer 2015 , but the technology wasn’t ready, so the timeline was delayed. More information about the project’s technical challenges and next steps is available in this post by Facebook’s engineering team. Via Recode Images via Facebook

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Facebook’s solar-powered drone beams internet in flight for the first time

Hybrid solar and biofuel plane to attempt first zero-carbon trans-Atlantic flight

March 14, 2016 by  
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Raphael Dinelli is a French scientist, former yachtsman, and now a pilot with his eyes on a world record. He’s determined to make history by completing the first zero-carbon trans-Atlantic flight this June with a lightweight hybrid plane powered by solar energy and biofuels . After four wins at the Vendée Globe round-the-world nonstop solo sailing race, Dinelli is determined to put his endurance to the test by flying a clean energy plane over the seas he once sailed. Read the rest of Hybrid solar and biofuel plane to attempt first zero-carbon trans-Atlantic flight

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Hybrid solar and biofuel plane to attempt first zero-carbon trans-Atlantic flight

Incredible street art completely transforms a church in Morocco

March 14, 2016 by  
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Solar Impulse could be grounded for a whole year in Japan

June 25, 2015 by  
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Solar Impulse 2 , the experimental solar-powered aircraft, has kept us on the edge of our seats as we’ve waited, day after day, for news of a second ocean crossing attempt. The first attempt resulted in an unscheduled stop in Nagoya, Japan after the forecast changed and it was clear the flight path would be plagued with storms, making it impossible to get enough sun exposure to charge the solar batteries. That was three weeks ago. The solar-powered plane was slated to take off again on June 23, but a worsening weather forecast caused the crew to cancel that attempt as well. Now, the fragile airplane could be stuck in Japan for an entire year. Read the rest of Solar Impulse could be grounded for a whole year in Japan Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , Andre Borschberg , bertrand piccard , futureisclean , nagoya japan , solar impulse , Solar Impulse 2 , solar powered aircraft , solar powered airplane , solar powered flight across pacific , solar powered round the world flight , Zero energy

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Solar Impulse could be grounded for a whole year in Japan

Sun-powered Solar Impulse begins longest, most dangerous leg of round-the-world flight

May 31, 2015 by  
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Solar Impulse 2 , the solar-powered aircraft with room for only one person, lifted off from China at 2:39am local time May 31, beginning the five-day journey across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. This news comes three weeks after the original departure date , which was pushed back repeatedly as dangerous storms threatened the flightplan and the pilot’s safety. This is the seventh leg of the round-the-world journey for this experimental aircraft, which uses zero fossil fuels. The adventure began in Abu Dhabi on March 9, and is expected to culminate after twelve individual flights bring the Si2 back to its starting point, setting a number of world records along the way. Read the rest of Sun-powered Solar Impulse begins longest, most dangerous leg of round-the-world flight Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Andre Borschberg , bertrand piccard , round-the-world flight , si2 , solar impulse , solar powered aircraft , solar powered airplane , solar powered plane , Zero energy , zero fossil fuels

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Sun-powered Solar Impulse begins longest, most dangerous leg of round-the-world flight

Solar Impulse lands in China to share messages about clean energy

April 1, 2015 by  
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Solar Impulse 2 landed in China on Tuesday, bringing a strong message about the importance of clean energy and sustainability to a country with major environmental issues . As we follow the epic round-the-globe journey of the solar-powered one-man aircraft, it becomes clear that this is not just about the feat of getting a solar-powered craft around the world, but it’s also about spreading awareness about the amazing power of clean energy sources. Landing in China completes the fifth leg of the Solar Impulse’s adventure and nabs yet another world record for the team. Arguably, this leg of the journey was the most difficult to date, as it involved navigating the sun-powered plane at high altitude over the mountainous regions of Yunnan and Sichuan and required pilot Bertrand Piccard to wear an oxygen mask, since the cabin is not pressurized like that of a commercial airplane. Solar Impulse first launched from Abu Dhabi on March 9, and the craft will make one more stop in China before heading across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. + Solar Impulse Images via Solar Impulse Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Andre Borschberg , around-the-world trips , bertrand piccard , flying around the world , solar impulse , solar powered aircraft , solar powered airplane , solar powered plane , zero fuel plane , zero fuel vehicles

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Solar Impulse lands in China to share messages about clean energy

One Texas city will run on 100 percent clean energy by 2017

April 1, 2015 by  
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In the heart of oil and republican climate-denier country , one Texas city is breaking down the stereotypes – because it plans to be completely powered by solar and wind power  by 2017. Jim Briggs, interim city manager of Georgetown, a city of about 50,000 situated just 25 miles north of Austin, says he started exploring the idea of renewable energy after discovering it was actually cheaper than non-renewable sources. Read the rest of One Texas city will run on 100 percent clean energy by 2017 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “wind power” , edf , georgetown , green energy , green power , renewable energy , renewable power , Solar Power , sunedison , texas

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One Texas city will run on 100 percent clean energy by 2017

Antarctica records what may have been its hottest day ever

April 1, 2015 by  
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While the northeastern U.S. was deluged with snow over the past few months, much of the world was experiencing some remarkably balmy temperatures . Now, the coldest place on Earth—Antarctica—has registered what might just be the highest temperatures ever for the continent . On March 24, daytime temperatures at Antarctica’s Esperanza research station soared to 63.5°F (17.5°C), and if this temperature is confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization, it may set an alarming new record. Read the rest of Antarctica records what may have been its hottest day ever Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: antarctica , Argentina , Climate Change , esperanza , global warming , ice sheets , marambio , sea level rise , temperature record , weather reading , world meterological organization

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EXPO 2015 ENEL Pavilion is a virtual LED forest that visualizes the smart energy grid

April 1, 2015 by  
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