Re: Solar Impulse - Flying Around the World Powered Only by PV
Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:58 am
There's an ep of Nova airing on 1/31 on Solar Impulse. See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/the-i ... light.html. My TiVo's set to record it.
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Thanks! I have it scheduled also.cwerdna wrote:There's an ep of Nova airing on 1/31 on Solar Impulse. See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/the-i ... light.html. My TiVo's set to record it.
LeftieBiker wrote:Drones that can remain aloft for months definitely have practical applications.
See http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=19346&start=10#p466269GRA wrote:We already know what PV-battery planes are good for, HALE missions where speed is irrelevant.
GRA wrote:LeftieBiker wrote:Drones that can remain aloft for months definitely have practical applications.
Absolutely:See http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=19346&start=10#p466269GRA wrote:We already know what PV-battery planes are good for, HALE missions where speed is irrelevant.
for much else re the difference between practical value and stunt re. transatlantic flights.
Another good quote (and prediction) from Piccard while looking at old airliners in an aircraft graveyard:Bertrand Piccard at 8:18 wrote:It is so much more difficult to use these clean technologies in the air than to use them on the ground, so if it works in the air I really hope people will understand that they can replace all these old polluting old stuff by new clean technologies. What we can do in the air we can do on the ground. And this is our message.
While I'm not sure how many years it will take, I believe his prediction is accurate. I doubt it will take as long as twenty years (from whenever he said that), but perhaps it will be a bit longer than ten. As always, time will tell.Bertrand Piccard at 1:31:03 wrote:I'm not saying Solar Impulse will replace an airplane like that very soon. In ten years' time, we have airplanes flying electric with batteries, plugged in the grid before takeoff, and they will transport fifty people.
quote="GetOffYourGas"]Are you implying that there is nothing they could learn which could be applied to unmanned electric aircraft? Because I suspect there is. Sure, we won't see this exact use case in real life, but it's far more engaging to follow a manned flight around the world than to simply watch a drone fly itself. This allows for sponsorship and the like, funding this extended test.
TomT wrote:RegGuheert wrote:It seems that during the successful 5-day flight from Nagoya, Japan, to Oahu, Hawaii, the batteries overheated and will need to all be replaced before the RTW trip can continue. As a result, the Solar Impulse 2 will remain in Hawaii until next Spring.
According to this article, the cooling system was insufficient to keep the batteries cool in the high temperatures they experienced during the daily ascent they made to get above the cloud cover to permit the photovoltaic panels to receive the most energy from the Sun.
Must have been designed by Nissan!
I don't agree with what was portrayed as perhaps the "main meaning" of this adventure, but I hardly see it as "a meaningless stunt".GRA wrote:I watched it, and all through I just kept thinking, what a tremendous expenditure of human energy, brainpower and money for a meaningless stunt.
Bertrand Piccard conceived of this flight in 1999. No doubt he fully intended to complete this flight in, or before, 2005. I'm pretty sure he did not expect it would take 16 years and countless millions of Euros before the around-the-world flight could be started.GRA wrote:The attempted justifications to try and provide some larger context (We're popularizing sustainable energy and energy efficiency!) struck me as as at least a decade too late - If this flight had started in 2005 instead of 2015 that might have been valid, but RE and energy efficiency were both widespread and well known by the time this came about.
I did watch the show and that is NOT what happened. What ACTUALLY happened is Pierre took off for Hawaii with the full blessing of the engineering team. After some time, he reported a malfunction with the system which monitors the autopilot and alerts the pilot if it determines his attention is needed. This malfunction threatened to (and proved to) put additional stress on a pilot who was already attempting to extend a human endurance record by a large margin (over 5 days of continuous flying versus 3 days). The engineers, who have responsibility for the safety of both the pilot and the aircraft, felt that this added additional risk was not warranted and they recommended that Pierre turn around and return to Japan before he reached the limit of an abort. Pierre and Bertrand overrode their recommendation and decided to push on to Hawaii. This created a significant amount of friction within the team and Bertrand fully expected some of them to quit even if they reached Hawaii safely. NOVA did an admirable job of capturing this very human drama.GRA wrote:If you watched the show, you know that the decision to take off for Hawaii was made against the unanimous advice of the engineers, who said it wasn't worth the risk.
You went on to imply that this had become a "daredevil stunt". I have to agree with you that achieving the goal of flying this plane around the world was very much at the forefront of the decision to push on, but while it was originally a personal goal of only Bertrand Piccard, it had also become a corporate goal of ALL of the people involved in the effort as well as of the financial sponsors and many other supporters.GRA wrote:That the pilot decided to do so anyway shows that this was about personal goals and not disappointing sponsors rather than gathering technical information, not that there was ever much doubt about that.