I must admit that I have been somewhat dismissive of all of the hype regarding solar powered aircraft, but every day something new about solar powered aircraft comes around. Considering that aviation has always been a leader in technology, I guess I should not be so surprised at these advances. When you consider that a battery powered car might be lucky to go 40 miles round trip, imagining an around the world flight with a pilot in a solar powered aircraft just staggers the imagination! If this happens, it will really set the world on its ears. The plan is for Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss adventurer to fly a solar powered aircraft round the world in an eco-friendly aircraft. The aircraft has the wingspan of a Boeing 747-400, weighs about as much as your standard family car, and uses four electric motors to drive the four propellers. You may recall that Piccard flew round the world in a hot air balloon, so this is a serious attempt by a serious aviator. It took six years and 50 engineers to come up with this aircraft design which combines innovative aerodynamic features, novel light-weight materials strong enough to resist pressures at high altitude and solar technology. So keep your ears open and eyes peeled for the next chapter in this exciting development.
While we are on the subject of solar power, have you ever considered the possibility of creating your very own solar energy homes? You may think it is too expensive, and if you were to purchase everything from a commercial manufacturer, you could be correct. But there are better options, and you really can do it yourself. Live in the woods like me? Not enough sunlight? Well, fear not - you could still work on home wind energy to provide the electricity you need. Again, there are other options than off-the-shelf commercial wind turbines. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7Success four flights thursday morning all against twenty one mile wind started from Level with engine power alone average speed through air thirty one miles longest 57 seconds inform Press home Christmas.— Orville Wright, 17 December 1903. This first telegraph home had two transcription errors. It should have read 59 seconds and Orville's name was spelt 'Orevelle.' Bishop Milton Wright received the telegram at about 5:30 PM, and showed it to Katharine a few minutes later. Supper was delayed while the telegram was sent over to Lorin's home and the news was telegraphed to Octave Chanute.