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DoD's Solar Plane Will Fly for 5 Years Straight

"What's the advantage...really...of having a solar-powered airplane?"

That's the kind of question I expect from people who are not immediately enamored with anything powered directly from that great flaming ball in the sky. And I suppose it's a question that should be answered, while I sit here drooling over the fact that it exists at all.

But the DoD has now answered that question. After a lot of work funding unmanned solar powered aircraft, they've announced a plan (Project Vulture!) to create one that will only need to land once every five years. It's a little bit like a spy satellite, except it can operate under its own power, and at much lower altitudes (though still in the stratosphere).

We've seen a few other solar-powered airplanes. Some frikkin' weird concepts, some to find no rx viagra prove that the sun can lift a man off the earth, and at least one to circumnavigate the earth.

The Project Vulture contract has been awarded to three companies: Boeing, Lockheed, and Aurora Flight Sciences. Of these, only Aurora has unveiled an actual concept. The Odysseus craft (pictured) remains very mysterious. But it seems as if it can actually fold the craft along two hinges. This might allow it to fly straight, while maximizing exposure to the setting or rising sun.

It will, of course, be entirely carbon-neutral, storing power in batteries during the day, and using them at night. Theoretically, the number of recommended site online viagra uk charge-discharge cycles the batteries are capable of should be the buy generic viagra cheap limiting factor in the length of the planes flight.

Each of the three segments are actually an independent unit that can fly, take off and land on their own. Once in the air, they link to provide the maximum amount of lift with the minimum amount of energy with a wingspan longer than that of a Boeing 767. If one of the segments is damaged, the other two can operate completely independently.

And, for those of good choice buying viagra online us who are less interested in using green technology for warfare (albeit cold warfare,) Aurora says that the solar plane could also be useful for mobile communications and meteorology as well.

Via Aurora Press Release CleanTech and  GreenBang

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Solar plane Aurora
written by curt, April 30, 2008
A truly wonderful solar project!
However, I would much prefer to online cialis uk see, that all these 'almost unlimited' military spending is focused to provide country's total energy independence, first. It is really about national security in the first plane, and that is the field, where DoD should have focused to. It is about the quality of spending of every single taxpayer's dollar.
I love science, I love space and avionics technology and its marvelous achievements, but first thing, first.
Total energy independence is of crucial importance in modern world, where record oil and other energy prices are destroying the economy and the wow look it order cialis canada environment, as well.

Maybe, one could comprehend this 'Aurora' plane as the scientific research project of how to increase the efficiency rates of solar cells and buy cialis online cialis batteries in general, as well.):
written by Sara, May 06, 2008

Keep it coming! This technology is long overdue and will be in high demand very soon. I just hope it can be mainstream and the price to fly will go down not up (b/c of the new tech image).


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