> > G Mann wrote:
> >  
> > I do raise arguement with the segment of thinking that
> > leaps forward with the assumption it is a finished and
> > practical appliction product accepted by public use.
> >
> > It's not there yet.. it's not even close, yet.. Perhaps,
> > but not yet.

> Andrew wrote:
> Grant, I can just see you watching the Wright Brothers lift
> off, saying "they will never be able to compete with trains
> - that silly contraption can only carry one or at most two
> men"

*chuckle*  The comparison might look similar at a casual
glance - but really it's not.  For the Wrights - and other
early flier - the challenge was on many fronts.
Aerodynamics, engines, control surfaces, user interface,

With this current solar airplane, there is nothing new
with the airframe, or the motors, or the user interface, or
the control surfaces.  It is a balance between battery
capacity vs. weight vs. photovoltaic (PV) panel output.  As
pointed out, even 100% efficiency from the panels would not
be enough to sustain flight except at high noon in the
tropics on a sunny day.  

With well over 100 years of development, there's a very low
probability that electric motor efficiency will be able to
increase much.  Tiny bits here and there, but unless someone
finds "room temperature" superconductors we can't expect much
change from the motor.

Same with the airframe drag.  More than 100 years of study,
expanding from the kite that the Wrights and Whitehead flew
to the supersonic and high-altitude aircraft, and many
points in between, suggest there's little hope of getting
lift with less drag.

Batteries have a lot of potential for advancement - but that
won't _sustain_ flight.  Charge 'em to make a flight - yes.
But I understood the claim to be that PV alone would be

So those PV panels will _never_ be 100% efficient.  I dream
of the day when maybe, just maybe they will top 60%.  It's
probably a pipe dream just as much as a 200 MPG carburetor
was in the 1970's. (which, by the way, would require the
engine to be something like 250% efficient...)

So I'm with Grant.  Physics rules.  Even if a fellow doesn't
understand physics, he still can't violate those laws
regardless of what Congress does!

I expect major improvement in electric storage technology,
and hope that I might live to see a rugged 30% efficient PV
panel.  But even then,  our transportation machines require
more energy than they can collect from the sun in transit.


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