Two pilots have filed safety reports with NASA’s ASRS system about the recently opened Ivanpah solar energy plant in San Bernardino County, Calif. The pilots said they were nearly blinded by the glare off the energy plant’s expansive mirror system. The Ivanpah plant uses 173,500 large mirrors to reflect sunlight onto boilers atop three 459-foot towers. Ivanpah’s co-owner and operator, NRG Energy, was notified of the “blinding” complaints last week and said it would respond within 10 days.
In collaboration with Sunpartner Technologies, Lyon, France-based Vision Systems will unveil a solar-powered, autonomous dimmable aircraft window dubbed Energia next month at the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas. Using Sunpartner’s Wysips (“What You See Is a Photovoltaic Surface”) technology, solar energy is harvested on the ground or in flight and stored in a battery integrated into the window. The generated electrical energy allows the dimmable system to run during the flight. The design eliminates the need for network cabling, making installation and maintenance easier.
The Helitech show, to be held from September 27 to 29 in Duxford, UK, is planning a conference program. Topics covered include offshore wind farm servicing, environmental research and development, safety and police operations.
Supporting the burgeoning development of wind farms is the next big growth opportunity in the offshore helicopter transportation market, according to Eurocopter UK managing director Markus Steinke. He estimates that by 2020 there will be demand for at least 20 helicopters to be flying to and from offshore wind turbines in the UK sector of the North Sea alone.
The alternative aviation fuel industry continues to conduct flight tests to validate the use of new jet-fuel blends. At the end of April, United Airlines became the first U.S. commercial carrier to fly using a certified synthetic-fuel blend that received ASTM approval last year.
Heritage Aviation officially opened its environmentally green FBO at Burlington International Airport, in the Green Mountains of Vermont, on May 20.
Heritage Aviation officially opened its environmentally green FBO at Burlington International Airport, in the Green Mountains of Vermont, last Thursday evening.
Avjet’s new solar-powered hangar at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif., represents not only the most current environmentally friendly building design but also illustrates that going green doesn’t necessarily cost more.
Bertrand Piccard, initiator of the Solar Impulse program, which is calling for a flight around the world with an aircraft powered exclusively by solar energy, showcased the state of his venture in a media conference at Duebendorf airfield near Zurich, Switzerland, last month.
The Solar Impulse has made significant progress toward its goal of being the first solar-powered aircraft to fly at night. Led by psychiatrist and accomplished aeronaut Bertrand Piccard, the team began construction of the 200-foot-wingspan prototype in late April. Flight tests are scheduled to start next year.