The HB-SIA solar-powered aircraft, the first prototype of the Solar Impulse project, is to be unveiled next week on June 26 at Dübendorf air base, near Zurich, Switzerland. Those who attend will discover some design changes since the last images were released, company CEO André Borschberg told AIN, adding that a first flight is planned for later this year.
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.
Le Castellet Airport in southeast France will have a 60,000-sq-ft photovoltaic roof operational this spring on a new hangar. Peak power delivered by the solar panels is 150 kilowatts, which translates into an average 185,000 kWh per year. This is about 40 percent of the airport’s electric power needs.
A fuel-cell-powered electric airplane is the goal of Worcester, Mass.-based Advanced Technology Products and its nonprofit arm, the Foundation for Advancing Science and Technology Education. At Oshkosh, ATP announced its receipt of a $400,000 NASA grant to develop a fuel cell and exhibited a modified DynAero Lafayette III, built and donated by American Ghiles Aircraft of Deland, Fla. The airplane is being developed in three phases.
GKN Aerospace announced here at Farnborough that it is expanding its metallic and composite manufacturing techniques. Acquisitions have boosted its metallic capabilities, while the company’s Composites Research Center is nearing completion of three years’ work on the integrated wing, advanced technology verification program.
Bombardier Aerospace has selected Innovative Power Solutions to provide its brushless starter/generator (BS/G) system for the new Learjet 85. With growth potential to 625 amps, the 500-amp/18-kilowatt DC systems will be used on the 6,100-pound- thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307 engines and auxiliary-power unit.
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.
General Electric’s research arm and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (Darpa) have joined forces to develop an entirely bio-based jet fuel to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The main challenge is to make the conversion process efficient. The project envisions a conversion efficiency, by energy content, of crop oil to JP-8 surrogate of between 60 and 85 percent.
UK-based Jet-Care International has been appointed by Pratt & Whitney Canada to provide engine-condition trend monitoring. Jet-Care analyzes the data to show customers how their engine should be performing and plots anomalies so that early warnings of problems can quickly be addressed. Together with the company’s Spectro oil analysis program, Jet-Care said it monitors the health of more than 12,000 business jet engines in 60 countries.
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.