Marc's Public Blog - Flying


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This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with flying, and learning to fly. Something I had been wanting to do for quite a while.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for my experience.
Specifically, I have a page for my Trips to Oshkosh, the mecca for pilots

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2013/04/18 Visit of Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg about Solar Impulse
π 2013-04-18 00:00 in Flying
I had heard about Solar Impulse, the first solar plane that can not only fly during the day on solar energy, but can also store energy in the batteries so that it can fly at night too, but it was nice to have Bertrand and André (both Swiss French) come visit us and come talk about their work so far, and their plans.

I had no idea that their huge plane could fly on just 4 10HP motors. That is less than a fourth of the power than the average US car has, or my new car has 15 times more power than their entire plane! Note that it is a super efficient glider that only flies at 25-30kts (i.e. a very slow sleep and wind currents can push you much faster than it can propel itself). This is not about to take passengers across the Atlantic quite yet, but the idea is to work on milestones one piece at a time.

So far, they have flown over 24H by charging batteries during the day, climbing high, and gliding slowly down (1ft/sec) from very high altitude at night while using batteries to sustain flight when they are low enough that they should use power to maintain altitude.

Next, they're planning on flying across the US and their end goal is being able to fly around the world.

Bertrand and André, interviewed by Pablo, one of our local pilots
Bertrand and André, interviewed by Pablo, one of our local pilots

Next, we went to Moffett to see their plane (which had been brought inside a bigger plane and put back together). You have to see it in person to see how big it actually is:






The plane is about as wide as a 747 while the pilot cabin is smaller than the planes I fly. It was difficult get a picture from end to end in the dark hangar, but these pictures give some idea:


I got to see the materials they use, that was impressive in itself: super light but solid honeycomb, as well as foam. The spars are made out of super light carbon fiber, the same kind that goes in expensive supercars due to its strength to weight ratio:



the solar panels from sunpower are also super thin and super light
the solar panels from sunpower are also super thin and super light


It was really cool to meet with Bertrand and André, and see their first plane. V2 is going to allow for 2 pilots, better avionics, and ability for pilots to stay airborne longer.

You can go to http://www.solarimpulse.com/#6914 to see how the plane was rebuilt at Moffett. From there, they are planning on flying across America.


More pages: December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999

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