Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on December 9, 2008
You may not know this, but our cross-country and continental jauntsI don’t usually get excited about new technologies that claim to be the “future” of this or that, but Lisa Airplanes’ Hy-Bird is making me take a step back. The plane is light at just over 2,000 pounds, it’s powered by Lithium-polymer batteries, and it will generate about 10% of its own electricity from solar arrays that cover the wings. Lisa has planned the first around-the-world trip to happen sometime in 2009, which makes the plane pretty much a reality.
It’s about time someone put solar panels on planes (okay, it’s been happening for a while, but not in the commercial sector) because planes spend most of their time above the clouds, where the sun’s rays are pretty intense. If you’ve ever hiked above 10,000 feet on a sunny day, you’ll know what I’m talking about. As I’m fond of saying, energy is everywhere around us, we just have to change our perspective.
The downside is that the Hy-Bird is for the ultra rich only. It’s a small commuter plane that doesn’t have designs on being anything but that. And this problem fuels the fire that real “G” friendly products are not for the masses.
But whether you’re rich or not, you must be happy to hear that technology is moving in the right direction. Now maybe one of the über-rich can dump some cash into making the technology work for commercial airlines, too.