Just Released! Order “Waking Up to Climate Change” by George Ropes, and receive 25% Discount. Learn More

Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

SOLAR PLANE A SUCCESS

Flying an airplane fueled only by the sun is not only possible, it has been done with great success. Early yesterday morning, the solar-powered plane named Solar Impulse 2 landed in California after flying over the Pacific ocean, a route that precluded emergency landings. The 62-hour non-stop flight began in Kalaeloa, Hawaii on April 21st and covered almost 2500 miles.

Solar Impulse 2 began its history making flight around the world over a year ago in March, 2015 when pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg took off from Abu Dhabi. Since then the plane has made stops in Oman, Myanmar, China, Japan and Hawaii. About 17,000 solar cells cover its expansive wings that are longer than those on a Boeing 747 and provide enough power for the propellers and for charging batteries. The plane’s ideal flight speed is about 28 mph, which can double during the day when the sun’s rays are strongest. The carbon-fiber aircraft weighs more than 5,000 pounds, or about as much as a mid-size truck.

According to the  Environmental Protection Agency  aircraft account for 11 percent of all U.S. transportation Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and more than 3 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions. The European Commission  has warned that by 2020, international aviation emissions could be 70 percent higher than in 2005, even if fuel efficiency improves by 2 percent a year.

Solar Impulse 2 did a record breaking solo flight for 5 days and nights without fuel when it flew from Nagoya to Hawaii. Solar Impulse 2 will make three more stops in the US before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Europe or Northern Africa.

The pilots have kept a log of their journeys on their website (follow the Solar Impulse) that show the plane’s altitude, speed, navigation, and maps.    Their most recent entry said “By attempting the first solar flight around the world, pushing back the boundaries of the possible, going into the unknown, and taking on a project deemed impossible by industry experts.”

Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE


More Posts Like This

CLIMATEYOU

ClimateYou Contributor & Key Supporter Alice Turnbull (1942-2023)

The passing of one of our contributors and most ardent supporters, Alice Turnbull, is a great loss not only to the ClimateYou Alliance but to her community in Port Melbourne, Australia, where she worked tirelessly to revive community parks with eco-friendly indigenous plantings. Alice was born in Scarsdale,

CITY TECH BLOG

Architecture & Climate Change

Architecture in recent years has been trying to combat the negative effects of construction on the atmosphere by leaning towards using more sustainable building  and construction materials. Building high performance houses are one way that architects have been creating new buildings to reduce the energy used which is

CITY TECH BLOG

Hydropower’s Power

Despite the increase in climate change awareness, in 2022, CO2 emissions, once again, reached an all time high at 417.06 ppm, or 36.8 billion tonnes. Starting in 2011, CO2 emissions have been increasing 2 ppm (Parts per million ) each year for 10 consecutive years, and 2022 made