ANOTHER BREAKTHROUGH OF HUMAN INGENUITY
New Swiss Airplane Could Remain in Air Indefinitely
Good riddance fossil fuels?
First came the electric car, then solar electricity, and now… a tiny nation in the Alps has unveiled the world’s first solar-powered virtually non-stop flying airplane (click here t0 read the story).
And the watch this video and rejoice. The days of GM, Ford, Exxon, Shell, BP and other worst-polluting companies are numbered…
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Eat dust – fossil fuel providers! Good riddance to you and to all your filthy technologies. Mother Earth and all her inhabitants will breathe a collective sigh of relief when you finally bite the dust.
When was first electric car built?
Just how much they have set the world back can be seen from this little quiz. What do you think was the world’s first electric car? Nissan Leaf? Tesla Model S? Chevrolet Spark? Honda Fit?
None of the above. The world’s first electric car designed and built in Britain by Thomas Parker.
Care to guess what year that was?
1884. No kidding. Take a look at the photo.
So for more than a century, the fossil fuel providers have been stalling progress toward clean energy source and poisoning the human race and the environment. It was only in the last few years that a plethora of electric car designed entered the market.
Nissan Leaf passed the milestone of 50,000 units sold worldwide in February 2013, for example. Other models released to the market in 2012 and 2013 include the BMW ActiveE, Coda, Renault Fluence Z.E., Tesla Model S, Honda Fit EV, Toyota RAV4 EV, Renault Zoe, Roewe E50, Mahindra e2o, Chevrolet Spark EV, Fiat 500e, Volkswagen e-Up! and BMW i3.
And now, the Swiss ingenuity has given the world a solar airplane that weighs about the same as an automobile, yet can fly virtually indefinitely.
When was solar energy first harnessed?
And now here’s another quick quiz. When do you suppose was the solar energy first harnessed by man? Fifty years ago? In the 19th century, like the electric car?
No. The first evidence of solar power being used by humans was in the 7th Century BC. That’s when a magnifying glass concentrated sun’s rays to make fire and to burn ants (click here to read more about the solar energy timeline).
Okay, so I admit… that was a bit of a trick question. So when do you think was solar energy first harnessed as a generator?
It was in 1767. And here come the Swiss again. Swiss scientist Horace de Saussure was credited with building the world’s first solar collector. It was later used by Sir John Herschel to cook food during his South Africa expedition in the 1830s (see http://solarcooking.org/saussure.htm).
So the first use of a solar generator was in food preparation, not transportation.
The first Photovoltaic (PV) system, the technology at the core of modern solar systems. was born in the U.S. in 1954. Daryl Chapin,
Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson developed the silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell at
Bell Labs—the first solar cell capable of converting enough of the sun’s energy
into power to run everyday electrical equipment (http://www.californiasolarcenter.org/history_pv.html).
And now, armed with this knowledge about the evolution of human ingenuity, let’s step toward the brave new world of perpetual energy airplanes and (once again) clean air.