Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:April 8th, 2013 11:47 EST
Solar Powered Plane to Attempt First Crossing from the Pacific to the Atlantic Coasts

Solar Powered Plane to Attempt First Crossing from the Pacific to the Atlantic Coasts

By Ron G Anselm

"Watching a bird in flight is like watching a leaf gently blow in the summer breeze; as it floats in the gentle breeze the leaf and bird become one with the peace and tranquility of freedom." (Anselm, R.)

Imagine being a bird flying wherever you wanted without traffic to sit in and rude or angry, road-raged drivers to deal with. Not having to worry about paying the high-price of gasoline that we all have seen the pricing jump as high as the height of Mount Everest and has sucked our dollars from our wallets like the prices were a built in vacuum sucking you dry, yea " it must be nice to be able to fly without all these normal life circumstances to deal with and to be as free as life itself.

This is how the new Solar Power plane must feel that is scheduled to make the first crossing of the United States scheduled to take place in just over a month from now. This first attempt to cross from San Francisco, California to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York is like a baby step test run for this new no needed fuel plane. The manufacturers of this planes ultimate goal two-years from now is to be able to build another prototype model of it and fly the newly built model completely around the world.

This solar-powered plane project began in 2003 with a budget around 112 million dollars and has involved some of the top engineers from around the world from the Swiss based lift maker Schindler and research aid from Belgian chemicals group Solvay. The backers of this project or better known as the investors of it want to test new materials and technologies while also gaining brand recognition.

So, it looks like if these test runs are successful it could lead into a completely new technological advancement for the aviation industry as we should see more solar-powered planes making their way into the many airport runways around the world. It could also one day lead to commercial airplane travel costing a lot less and without the added hassles.

From the engineering standpoint since this is a new test model there will be many engineering uprevs needed form the construction of the cramped cockpit to the possibility of modifications to the design of the plane itself bit for now the goal is just to make the distance of the flight with anything going wrong.

One of the engineers on this project by the last name of Borschberg commented in a joking way on the poor economic seating arrangements for the test pilots in the cockpit of the new solar-powered plane by saying, "That`s a bad economy seat - you would not fly on this airline. The next one should be good business class." Probably like sitting in the middle row of a 747 next to two very large and over-weight people during a six hour flight. In this case the length of the flight would be for days.

One of the goals for the manufacture of future solar-powered planes is to build them in accordance to pilots being able to fly continually for many days and nights with very little sleep. The pilots go through a mental training program which consists of meditation and hypnosis which are both aids in training the pilots to function on a lot less sleep.

The pilots flying the new solar-powered planes will be getting less sleep when flying because part of this technology is to be able to continually fly without having to re-fuel. There are 12,000 solar cells built into the wing that simultaneously recharge the batteries with the storage equivalency of a Tesla electric car. There was an earlier test run which lasted around twenty-six hours to prove the plane could fly continuously with charging taking place in the day and battery power working at night.

Some people may ask if there is a downside to structuring flying in this manner and there really is not. One of the engineers by the last name of Piccard summed it up by saying, "In that sense, it is not the easiest way to fly but it is the most fabulous way to fly, because the more you fly, the more energy you have on board."

Piccard also went on to add a little inspiration to this flight by saying, "It carries one pilot and zero passengers, but it carries a lot of messages. We want to inspire as many people as possible to have that same spirit: to dare, to innovate, to invent."

Innovation has evolved over the last one-hundred years and has given us so many new technological advancement from engineering to PlayStation games but one concept of innovation as Piccard summed it up is "Innovation is not about new ideas, it`s about getting rid of old ideas." (Piccard, 2013)


Reddall, B., 2013,, Solar plane to set out to cross U.S. in early May. Retrieved 2013.

Being a bird or a solar-powered plane in flight must be nice to soar like the wind but what about being a baseball in flight just after getting shot from the barrel of a baseball bat after the hitter just connected on a hanging curve ball? Probably the same velocity of a small object getting shot from the barrel of very large and powerful cannon. Baseball went through the age of power-hitters where pitchers almost feared going up against specific names that could hit the cover off of any baseball and could launch the baseball out of the park and into Row Ten in the parking lot of any baseball stadium. The fans loved it but at the same time got tired of having to repair their windshields with the many baseballs that broke them. Buy your copy of next book titled, Our Grand Ol` National Past Time and read about the Age of the Power Hitters. I will let everyone know the release date and ordering details when I know from my publisher.