23 Mar Solar power begins to take off
This year is proving to be a fascinating one for those interested in the aerospace industry. After a tough 2014 for both airlines and travellers, things are looking up. British Airways owner AIG has reported rising profits, Ryanair has raised its profit forecast following a promising end to 2014 and as of 1 May 2015 flight taxes on children will be abolished.
These recent announcements are excellent news for the industry. One story that has particularly caught our eye however, is the news of the progress made by Solar Impulse, the solar powered, single-seater plane that is currently making history by flying around the world.
We provide tailored precision cold forming and machining services to a variety of innovative companies in industry so it’s not uncommon for us to come across some impressive feats of engineering, and Solar Impulse certainly falls into that category. Featuring a 72 meter wingspan and 17,000 solar cells, Solar Impulse is a remarkable achievement, especially when you take into account the fact it weighs only 2,300 kg – less than the weight of the average Range Rover car.
The big question is, how will the success of Solar Impulse and its technology affect the wider aerospace industry in the longer term? It’s undoubtedly very early days for this technology, but now that it has proved it can safely travel long distances both day and night, it will surely become increasingly and more frequently used as mainstream airlines identify cost saving and CSR opportunities.
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