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No fuel, no worries: Solar Impulse 2 landed in Hawaii after a five day flight across the Pacific

By dkpope
Jul 3, 2015
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  1. A pilot and his team just landed a solar plane in Hawaii after a five day flight, in the eighth of a thirteen-part quest to fly around the world without a drop of fuel.

    It took pilot Andre Borschberg almost 118 consecutive hours to get from Japan to Oahu in the Solar Impulse 2 - that's five days of sitting for those keeping track. He has to fly alone because of the very strict payload limits that can only support one pilot at a time. Bertrand Piccard alternates flight legs with Borschberg. Because of this lopsided situation, there is much other work to be done that, in this case, is handled by a flight team of 60 people located in Monaco.

    The journey began in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in March and was originally scheduled to end before July. Delays have altered this plan and the team says that the journey will pause for a while and be completed in 2016.

    It makes sense that the longer hours of daylight in spring and summer are necessary for a successful solar powered flight. The plane's wings and fuselage are covered in more than 17,000 solar cells that gather the sun's energy throughout the day so it can fly on through the night on battery power.

    "This oceanic flight to Hawaii demonstrates that if technological solutions exist to fly a plane day and night without fuel, then there is potential for these same efficient technologies to be used in our daily lives, and to achieve energy savings to reduce CO2 emissions," Piccard said in a blog post.

    If this journey proves successful, Borschberg and Piccard will be the first pilots to fly around the world in a solar-powered plane, and they (plus the whole team) will probably need a long nap.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Yeah, they will need a long nap to recharge their batteries..
     
  3. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 494   +126

    "This oceanic flight to Hawaii demonstrates that if technological solutions exist to fly a plane day and night without fuel, then there is potential for these same efficient technologies to be used in our daily lives, and to achieve energy savings to reduce CO2 emissions

    Yeah but a normal jet flight from Japan to Hawaii is like 6-8 hours, and can carry 100-500 people, not 188 hours and 1 person, so they have a ways to go.
     
    cmbjive, veLa and dkpope like this.
  4. risc32

    risc32 TS Booster Posts: 195   +87

    Yeah, this is retarded.

    it would have been more practical to just hang glide from MT fuji to hawaii, or just get a really big bird and grab him by the feet and..... To think this is any real step towards solar passenger/cargo jet usage is no less redonkuluss.
     
    cmbjive and dkpope like this.
  5. cldmstrsn

    cldmstrsn TS Booster Posts: 101   +51

    We really do live in the age of now, now, now. These guys are making a historical flight and we get a bunch of whiners about how that's not practical for flights these days. Ya progress takes a little bit guys it doesn't happen right away so cant you appreciate it for what it is?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    Be fair now. When the Wright brothers made their first flight many of the tech forums and bloggers on the internet had their share of naysayers too. You know, the flight was too short to be of any value, bugs in your teeth, can't fly at night, can't really go anywhere because of the shortage of airports, not enough passenger space, no luggage space, no curbside check in, etc. On and on it went. You can imagine.
     
  7. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,506   +498

    So... once more... everyone focuses on every punny little detail, punny little people, instead of the awesome concept of the first team in the world to fly a fuel-less plane around the world that is powered on renewable energies, the retarded "you can do that on fuel" arise...

    Of course you can do it, of course it has decades of implementation, innovation, optimizations, and as many wordending-tion you can add, now think in optimized engines, improved solar arrays, yata yata, it's a long way but an awesome way we are going.
     
    cldmstrsn and wastedkill like this.
  8. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    I'd like to consider the scientific possibilities of having an unmanned, solar powered drone flying 24/7 collecting realtime 'at location' data on the atmosphere, on wind currents, or following migration patterns of (insert animal here) making multiple passes back and forth... Tinfoil hatters would also point to the military and espionage possibilities of a vehicle that is far cheaper to deploy than a satellite.

    If anything the short term future for this tech has nothing to do with commercial passenger/freight flights, and any argument stating that it is and won't work is grasping at straws at best.
     
    cldmstrsn likes this.
  9. ekg84

    ekg84 TS Rookie

    People use to say... It is impossible to have a practical electric vehicle with a decent range, that sits 5 people, has a good cargo space, that is pleasant to drive and look at... And then someone named Elon Musk invades the industry with his Model S and demolishes all those archaic claims in tiny little pieces. The moral is, it takes one determined individual with vision to catalyze the progress. Progress can not be stopped. It's goanna happen, commercial jets will go electric earlier or later just as other types of transportation. So to me this post is actually kind of exciting.
     
  10. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Guru Posts: 407   +88

    "If this journey proves successful, Borschberg and Piccard will be the first pilots to fly around the world in a solar-powered plane"

    Neither one will have flown around the world though, since only one is in the plan at a time. Interesting and worthwhile endeavor though!
     

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