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Swiss pilot makes history in solar plane
thelocal.ch ^ | 6 June 2012 | AFP

Posted on 06/06/2012 10:24:14 PM PDT by smokingfrog

Bertrand Piccard, a 54-year-old Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist, landed Solar Impulse at 11.30pm (2230 GMT) under a full moon at Rabat Sale airport where he was welcomed by officials of the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (MASEN).

Big marquees had been erected near the airport for the organizers of the flight, shown live on the site solarimpulse.com.

The plane was to stay in Rabat for five days before taking off for Ouarzazate in the south of Morocco for the launch by King Mohammed VI of construction of the largest-ever solar thermal plant.

As he got out of the aircraft, the pilot looked exhausted after the nearly 19-hour flight but was smiling. A special terminal had been set up by the Moroccan airport authorities with a large police presence.

Dozens of people, including flight organisers and Moroccan officials, gathered at the runway to witness the historic touchdown.

Piccard had taken off from Madrid's Barajas airport before dawn at 5.22am (0322 GMT) in the Solar Impulse, an aircraft as big as an Airbus A340 but as light as an average family car.

"For one hour I had the full moon on my right and I had the sunrise on my left and that was absolutely gorgeous," Piccard told AFP in an interview from the cockpit shortly after setting out.

"I had all the colours of the rainbow in the sky and also on the ground."

After more than 10 hours' flight, Piccard had climbed to more than 5,500 metres (18,000 feet).

Flying at some 45 kilometres (28 miles) per hour in the freezing, high altitude, he needed an oxygen mask to breathe.

An onboard video camera relayed images of the distant patchwork of fields and valleys stretched out below the aircraft, which has 12,000 solar cells in the wings turning four electrical motors.

(Excerpt) Read more at thelocal.ch ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: piccard

1 posted on 06/06/2012 10:24:25 PM PDT by smokingfrog
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To: smokingfrog
28 miles in 19 hours!
Awesome! /s


2 posted on 06/06/2012 10:32:13 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: smokingfrog

You know why homer was exhausted?
He prolly spent 19 hours trying to prevent the wings from coming off.


3 posted on 06/06/2012 10:33:58 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: smokingfrog

I thought this was a story about a man planning a flight to the Sun. :(


4 posted on 06/06/2012 10:38:24 PM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Greed + Envy = Liberalism)
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To: smokingfrog

My mistake, they never say what the distance of the flight was.
Unless I missed it.


5 posted on 06/06/2012 10:38:24 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: smokingfrog

2500 Kilometers

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/06/06/solar-impulse-completes-world-record-flight-from-spain-to-morocco/


6 posted on 06/06/2012 10:40:14 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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1553 miles


7 posted on 06/06/2012 10:45:57 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

Cruise speed is 43 mph.


8 posted on 06/06/2012 10:50:25 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: mylife

Humongous light craft.

No idea how much it could carry in passengers or cargo. I get the idea that there was no capacity to spare, even under bright clear skies. Still, why couldn’t photovoltaics be used to help ease the fuel usage of conventional aircraft that commonly fly above the clouds? As in lightening the load on generators? It needn’t be anywhere close to a total solution to be useful.


9 posted on 06/06/2012 10:51:45 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Let me ABOs run loose Lou!)
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To: smokingfrog
You could set an intercontinental record with way less work ☺


10 posted on 06/06/2012 10:52:26 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: smokingfrog

Talk about leisurely. Though this is airspeed, and doubtless this thing had a stiff tailwind on that course...?


11 posted on 06/06/2012 10:53:45 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Let me ABOs run loose Lou!)
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To: smokingfrog

Not bad.
I wonder what it costs?
I bet half the route or more was dependent on thermals

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_glider


12 posted on 06/06/2012 10:55:47 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: smokingfrog

Hope it wasn’t too windy! That looks pretty frail.


13 posted on 06/06/2012 10:58:09 PM PDT by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter")
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To: HiTech RedNeck
. Still, why couldn’t photovoltaics be used to help ease the fuel usage of conventional aircraft that commonly fly above the clouds?

Adding drag to wings and fuselage, flying off of wings and fuselage at inopportune times doing 400-500 MPH..........Just guessing.

14 posted on 06/06/2012 10:59:54 PM PDT by The Cajun (Sarah Palin, Mark Levin......Nuff said.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I hate light craft in high lift areas.
Some folks love it.

I bet he picked up thermals of the Mts and ascended to a very high altitude and then used solar power to assist staying aloft across the Med

At any rate for all of my snarking... Bravo!


15 posted on 06/06/2012 11:00:34 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: The Cajun

Of course this would mean with units that can be inlaid into the body and wings to create a smooth surface.


16 posted on 06/06/2012 11:02:47 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Let me ABOs run loose Lou!)
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To: mylife

The 2500km figure is for the whole week...

The 19 hour journey being celebrated was only from Madrid to Rabat, which is 477 miles according to Google Maps.


17 posted on 06/06/2012 11:07:15 PM PDT by fluorescence
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To: fluorescence

That’s pretty pokey


18 posted on 06/06/2012 11:09:58 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: fluorescence

19 posted on 06/06/2012 11:11:46 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife
Boy that looks like a little a** buster if there ever was one, LOL.
20 posted on 06/06/2012 11:15:32 PM PDT by The Cajun (Sarah Palin, Mark Levin......Nuff said.)
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To: The Cajun

Yeah but we all have defied the laws of aerodynamics from time to time.


21 posted on 06/06/2012 11:20:22 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife
The only time it bothered me was when the pilot tries to defy them and you're sitting next to him watching the tach red line and trees approach :)
22 posted on 06/06/2012 11:27:44 PM PDT by The Cajun (Sarah Palin, Mark Levin......Nuff said.)
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To: moose07
Bookmark spap
23 posted on 06/06/2012 11:39:18 PM PDT by moose07 (The truth will out, one day.)
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To: smokingfrog

24 posted on 06/07/2012 12:52:24 AM PDT by TChad
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To: smokingfrog

http://solarimpulse.com/


25 posted on 06/07/2012 2:00:15 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: smokingfrog

All I need is 5 acres of solar cells on my mobility scooter and I can go to Jacksonville!


26 posted on 06/07/2012 2:59:52 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: mylife

What I like is the two guys to the far right. Those wings must create some real lift!


27 posted on 06/07/2012 3:51:58 AM PDT by Portcall24
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To: mylife

At least the glide has a chance of being marketable. Wonder what it cost this earth worshiper to make this boondoggle.

Pray for America


28 posted on 06/07/2012 4:09:24 AM PDT by bray (Power to We the People)
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To: smokingfrog

This one is just ahead of the solar-powered flashlight on the practicality scale.


29 posted on 06/07/2012 5:21:30 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (I like Obamacare because Granny signed the will and I need the cash)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

30 posted on 06/07/2012 5:57:32 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: muir_redwoods; bray
This one is just ahead of the solar-powered flashlight on the practicality scale.

No, the solar-powered flashlight is a thoroughly practical, useful tool available on the free and open market from a wide variety of competing manufacturers and vendors.

This aircraft is an interesting experiment showing the possible viability of a light, long-duration, high altitude aircraft requiring no aerial refueling. While this experimental aircraft is manned, the concept would likely be most useful in a UAV.

31 posted on 06/07/2012 6:11:45 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

A sense if humor is a valuable asset in life, I suggest you look into it.


32 posted on 06/07/2012 6:19:01 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (I like Obamacare because Granny signed the will and I need the cash)
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To: mylife

— 28 miles in 19 hours!-—

This is progress? Sheesh.


33 posted on 06/07/2012 6:25:34 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: muir_redwoods
For something to qualify as "humor", it must first actually be funny.

Post #29 is not funny; it is merely stupid.

Sadly many Americans have been conditioned to mistake "stupid" for "funny" by several generations of self-so-called "comedians" whose stock in trade is mindless idiocy.

No matter.

Stupid is not funny.

Stupid is stupid.

Do at least try not to get stuck on stupid.

34 posted on 06/07/2012 6:27:06 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas
You try keeping a bird in the air for 19 hours without aerial refueling ... or even burning any petroleum fuel at all.

Get back to us when you have accomplished that.

Do at least try not to get stuck on the stupid idea that the only use for an aircraft is to move things from "point A" to "point B".

This is progress?

Yes, it is. Huge progress, in fact.

35 posted on 06/07/2012 6:58:26 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Believe me, you’ve given me an unintended lesson in stupidity.


36 posted on 06/07/2012 7:17:38 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (I like Obamacare because Granny signed the will and I need the cash)
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To: ArrogantBustard

-—Huge progress, in fact.——

To what?

Composites have been around for a while. Are these photovoltaic cells particularly light in weight? What’s revolutionary here? The whole exercise could have been drawn up on a chalkboard, and then erased, saving a lot of time and money.

This could have been done 40 years ago. But no one in the last 40 years wanted to spend their own money on a pointless endeavor. I suspect that government funding was involved in some way.


37 posted on 06/07/2012 7:30:25 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas
This could have been done 40 years ago.

Nonsense.

Solar cells were neither light enough, nor efficient enough 40 years ago to lift their own weight much less the rest of aircraft. Likewise electric motors. Composites and thin-film polymers 40 years ago were nowhere near strong enough per weight to build an aircraft like this.

If you have to ask what's revolutionary about a lightweight, low maintenance, long duration aircraft which requires no refueling, nor requires fuel at its base ... you're not competent to be having this discussion.

Seriously ... with your attitude, the Bell X-1 would have been drawn on a chalkboard, then erased, saving a lot of money. It could have been done 40 years earlier, but no-one wanted to spend their own money on a pointless endeavour. I suspect government funding was involved in some way.

38 posted on 06/07/2012 7:38:19 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

-—you’re not competent to be having this discussion.——

Well, I have an ME degree with a minor in EE, but you’re probably right, because I couldn’t care less.

From an engineering perspective, I find this very impressive:
http://m.phys.org/news/2011-10-boston-dynamics-unwraps-military-robot.html


39 posted on 06/07/2012 7:50:27 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas
Well, I have an ME degree with a minor in EE,

IF that's true, the drivel you've been spouting is even less excusable than I had thought.

From an engineering perspective, I find this very impressive:

Yes, AlphaDog is seriously cool. I'd like to point out that "AlphaDog is actually the offspring of BigDog, an earlier, noisier, version with limited payload and operating range." Good thing nobody dismissed BigDog as something that should drawn up on a chalkboard, and then erased, saving a lot of time and money. I'd further like to point out that "AlphaDog ... was developed with funding from DARPA and the US Marine Corps" and "The company worked with engineers and scientists from Boston Dynamics, Bell Helicopter, AAI Corporation, Carnegie Mellon, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Woodward HRT".

Hmmmm .... I suspect that government funding was involved in some way.

40 posted on 06/07/2012 8:01:18 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

DARPA vs.”he was welcomed by officials of the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency.”


41 posted on 06/07/2012 8:23:58 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: smokingfrog
SnarkSnarkSnark... this is NOT a stealthy aircraft.... SnarkSnark... there's no way it could survive combat... SnarkSnarkSnarkSnark... I bet the pilot never gets laid....SnarkSnark....

Snark.

42 posted on 06/07/2012 8:40:56 AM PDT by Lazamataz (People who resort to Godwin's Law are just like Hitler.)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas
Don't be too shocked, surprised, or upset when DARPA brass want a dog-n-pony show from the AlphaDog crew.

Solar power is not evil, immoral, fattening, or a communist plot. It is an interesting and developing area of technology which is potentially very useful in some applications, and not so useful in others.

43 posted on 06/07/2012 8:40:56 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Lazamataz
Have you ever gone Snark Hunting?
44 posted on 06/07/2012 8:44:37 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
Solar power is not evil, immoral, fattening, or a communist plot. It is an interesting and developing area of technology which is potentially very useful in some applications, and not so useful in others.

I grew up in a farming area..on a farm actually. I don't know of a single farmer who has his electric livestock fence tied into the barn current anymore. Every fence is solar powered. Works great. The setup my dad has is at least 14-15 years old and never had a problem with it.

Solar is taking off with various farm uses in just about every area from the fences to oxygenators for ponds, heating water in water tanks for livestock in the winter...on and on.

Seems like every 2-3rd vendor at the Farm Science Review in Ohio has new solar panel technology applications for farm use...but we are told politically by some to hate and be wary of the use.

45 posted on 06/07/2012 12:49:18 PM PDT by trailhkr1 (All you need to know about Zimmerman, innocent = riots, manslaughter = riots, guilty = riots)
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To: trailhkr1
340 W/m2 ... It's not just a good idea, it's The Law (or, at least, the average solar irradiance).

It's not too bad an arrangement, if you don't need too many "W", and have a lot of "m2".

46 posted on 06/07/2012 1:20:37 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

The way you are taking this so personally it appears you have invested all of your butter and egg money into this contraption.


47 posted on 06/07/2012 1:39:40 PM PDT by Eaker (When somebody hands you your arse, don't give it back saying "This needs a little more tenderizing.")
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To: Eaker
Well ...

Bless your little heart.

48 posted on 06/07/2012 2:36:59 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Just a guess is all.


49 posted on 06/07/2012 3:25:47 PM PDT by Eaker (When somebody hands you your arse, don't give it back saying "This needs a little more tenderizing.")
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