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JUL 08

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" . . [aka La Manche en Francais] is only 21 miles wide at the Straits ..."

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French Students Make Solar Blimp

solar-blimp
A group of students from technical high schools and engineering schools in France have built a solar blimp that will cross the English Channel by the end of the summer.  The students made the craft through Projet Sol'R, an initiative by engineers from INSA Lyon and ESSEC Business School.

The 72-foot helium blimp is made of nylon and polyethylene fabric stretched around an aluminum frame.  The top of the blimp is covered in flexbile solar cells capable of generating 2.4 kW.  The cells will fully power the blimp's small motor and allow it to reach a speed of 25 mph.

The blimp was on display at the Paris Air Show at the end of June and should be making its inaugural flight within the coming weeks.

A solar-powered blimp seems mainly like a novelty project, but a successful flight could give us some information on integrating solar power into commercial air travel, so it may not be so silly after all.

via Good Clean Tech
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Comments (9)Add Comment
0
Why aluminum
written by Brent Whistler, July 09, 2009
This sounds like a job for carbon fiber, not aluminum.
0
Solar Blimp!
written by campbell, July 09, 2009
We applaud this effort! Perhaps some of these students will one day want to work for us!

TURTLE AIRSHIPS has been focused on creating true, viable solar powered aircraft for years. Unlike blimps, however, the "turtle" can be scaled upwards to carry several hundred passengers.

Solar powered flight is coming!
www.turtleairships.com
0
...
written by L3, July 09, 2009
Sorry to kid, but the sentence structure begs it!

How wide is that channel? By the end of the Summer?!?
0
...
written by wÓÒ†, July 09, 2009
Has the blimp surrendered to the Germans yet?
0
...
written by Fred, July 09, 2009
Students are becoming so advanced with their discoveries
0
turle airships?
written by zac123, July 09, 2009
@ campbell - your web-site is hidious. i was interested in your concept but then one glance at your web-site put me right off!

0
...
written by campbell, July 09, 2009
@zac123 "hidious"??? Unadorned, simple, direct, plain, even dull perhaps. But "hidious"?

Ah well, different strokes for different folks!smilies/smiley.gif
0
Turtle website
written by Treepata, July 11, 2009
@campbell
Sorry I have to agree with zac123, the Turtle airships website could use a bit of improvement, especially if you are a scientific entrepreneur.

Take a day to learn e.g. Joomla, get a nice free template somewhere and quickly build a website that attracts people, is more professional and helps the cause of sustainable transport for the future.

And don't worry, it can still be simple!
0
The English Channel . .
written by Christopher Squire, August 12, 2009
. . [aka La Manche en Francais] is only 21 miles wide at the Straits of Dover: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Channel

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