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+ - Ask Slashdot: What stands in the way of a truly solar-powered airplane?-> 2

Submitted by centre21
centre21 (232258) writes "So I've been reading about solar-powered aircraft all over the Interwebs, as well as solar power in general, but I'm wondering, is it more than just solar cell efficiency that's preventing the creation of a solar-powered airliner? Conspiracy views aside (which may be valid) it seems to me that if I were running an airline the size of United or American, eliminating the need for jet fuel as a cost would be HIGHLY appealing. So I'm asking: what stands in the way of creating true solar-powered airliners?"
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Ask Slashdot: What stands in the way of a truly solar-powered airplane?

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  • Take a B737 sized aircraft, even if we could convert 100% of sunlight hitting it to electricity, it wouldn't have enough thrust to take off with a normal PAX load.
    In the near future a light aircraft for two people will be viable.
    But the priority should be the electric car, and the fuel cell bus/locomotive. We use a lot more oil in ground/sea transportation than in air transportation.

  • "What stands in the way of a truly solar-powered airplane?"

    Clouds.

    : - )

"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." -- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown

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