Going green must be on the minds of many people, and we have heard of solar powered planes before. Raphael Dinelli, a French scientist, former yachtsman, and pilot intends to make waves by attempting the first zero-carbon trans-Atlantic flight this June, relying on a lightweight hybrid plane that will run on solar power and biofuels to get the job done.
The Eraole is the plane that will help Dinelli achieve this particular task. Being an aircraft that has been developed since 2009, it has been engineered in such a way to fly across the Atlantic Ocean – all without using a single drop of oil. Rather, solar energy coupled with biofuels produced from microalgae, will keep it going.
The wing-mounted solar panels on the Eraole will deliver 25% of the plane’s power, while 55% will arrive from the algae-derived biofuels. As for the balance of 20%, it will fall back on wind currents to help it glide along. Needless to say, this is one plane that sits just one, throughout the 60-hour flight across the Atlantic. It would mean going without sleep while breathing 30% less oxygen than normal as it makes its way at 10,000 feet elevation thereabouts. Not being able to stretch your legs will also be an issue, and we do wish Raphael Dinelli all the best for the planned June 2016 flight!
I’d say such a plane deserves to take off from an airport that is 100% solar-powered.