Friday, May 27, 2016

True image of Islam distorted by terrorism

Gliding past the sunset above Lehigh Valley International Airport, the Solar Impulse 2 is well on its way to becoming the first plane ever to fly around the world on solar power alone.
Without a single drop of fossil fuel, the sun-powered aircraft touched down at the airport shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday with electric bicycles attached helping to slow it down, to cheers from about 100 solar power fans and Swiss onlookers.

With clear skies and only a light breeze, the record-breaking plane coasted along the tarmac accompanied by a traveling ground crew of 75 people here, and another 75 people remotely directing its every movement from Monaco on the French Riviera.

The plane will take off for John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City next week before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to land in Europe or Northern Africa.
Pilot Bertrand Piccard brought the $20 million-a-year operation in for a landing at LVIA to complete a 17-hour flight from Wright Brothers Airport in Dayton, Ohio, completing the 13th leg of a trip that started in March 2015 in Abu Dhabi.
"I love exploration. I love to push the limits of the possible," Piccard said from the cockpit as he flew over central Pennsylvania on Wednesday. "No fuel. Zero emissions. No pollution in a plane that can fly forever. No other plane in the world can fly forever. This one can. This is what drives me."
Solar Impulse 2 has been a 17-year labor of love for Swiss aviators Piccard and his second pilot, Andre Borschberg, and a cast of what is now 150 people working around the clock to prove that continuous flight without fossil fuel is possible.
The plane, which weighs about 5,100 pounds, has wings equipped with more than 17,000 solar cells that store power to turn the plane's propellers and charge its batteries. It enables the plane to store energy to fly at night and stay in the air for days at a time, according to its website,
On Wednesday, the plane circled Allentown for nearly four hours before touching down. By 8:
15 p.m., the plane was low enough to the ground to see its flashing red landing lights and individual solar panels.
Flying at a typical speed of about 30 mph, the single-seat plane took about 17 hours to make its way from Dayton to LVIA, but it's had legs much longer, including one from Asia to Hawaii that took five days. For Piccard that was five days alone in the cockpit — under the watchful eye of everyone at Mission Control in Monaco. To do it, Piccard and Borschberg have perfected the art of the 20-minute nap, which they take several times a day during multi-day stretches.
"This is the only plane in the world certified to have the pilot sleeping in the cockpit," Piccard said, adding that the plane can fly forever, its only limits being those of its human pilots.
Along the way, Piccard and his crew have developed a bit of a cult following, in part because of the interactive experience they provide live online. The plane has five cameras that broadcast in the cockpit and control center constantly, and Piccard and Borschberg conduct daily interviews as they fly.
At the tarmac, Bethlehem residents Udo and Margit Hardt followed the plane's slow, roving circles with their cameras. Christine Pfister, honorary consul of Switzerland in Philadelphia, invited the Hardts, along with all other Lehigh Valley residents with a Swiss connection, to attend the landing.
Udo Hardt, 74, said he's interested in transportation that uses new forms of energy and assessed the plane's flight as it drifted downward.
"I'm interested in things like electric cars, and right now batteries seem to be the biggest issue," Hardt said. "At this moment, I think the plane has better batteries."
Earlier in the day, when the plane was just west of Pittsburgh, Piccard took advantage of good weather to fly in circles above the materials science technology company Covestro, just to "say hi" from above to employees of one of the project's corporate sponsors.
Just before his in-flight interview with The Morning Call, he could be heard on the phone with Monaco's Prince Albert II.
He and his crew have certainly developed a fan in Dave Hartman of Lititz, Lancaster County, a retired Air Force pilot who has been following the journey since it started. Hartman made the 70-mile trip to LVIA on Wednesday just for the chance to catch a glimpse of the plane landing.
"Oh my gosh, this is a chance to look into the future," Hartman said. "I didn't want to miss this opportunity. The whole project is just fantastic."
Hartman wasn't alone. LVIA officials urged people to watch the landing on, but that didn't stop some from hunting for the best parking lots or roadside near the airport to catch sight of the plane.
Piccard said he hopes to complete his loop around the world this summer in Abu Dhabi, but it will not be his last journey. This is just the beginning, he said. After all, Star Trek's Capt. Jean-Luc Picard is believed to named after either Piccard's grandfather Jean or Jean's twin Auguste.
"In addition to the message of clean technology, we speak a lot about adventure and exploration," Piccard said. "Embrace the unknown. People are living this adventure with us. They understand they can be explorers in life, also. They can also push the limits."

No comments:

Post a Comment