Tûranor PlanetSolar World’s Largest Solar Ship About to Complete Trip Around the Globe

The epic voyage of the Tûranor PlanetSolar – the world’s largest solar-powered boat – will soon come to a close as the ship closes in on its final stretch. The Swiss vessel is a full-bore high-tech solar harvesting machine whose deck is covered in 537 square meters of photovoltaic panels. The array produced enough energy for the boat to navigate the entire circumference of the Earth without any other means of energy. The Tûranor PlanetSolar is currently set to depart Abu Dhabi en route to their final port in Morocco – the same place the expedition launched on September 27th, 2010. The journey has come full circle in more than one respect, as it was not too long ago the only way to navigate the earth was by harnessing renewable energy with sails.

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Eco friendly airships The green future of transportation

The current scenario

Transportation technologies have got a new form over all these years and have made traveling comfortable and convenient. There are a variety of transportation modes that help us travel all around the globe in no time. But, the saddest part being that the world is still ruled by gas-guzzling beasts that are threat to the environment. Efforts are being made to give the world environmentally-friendly vehicles that will be effective, energy efficient as well as clean. Public transportation systems, like buses, trains, airplanes, etc. are also getting an eco friendly streak as they run using solar energy and electricity. Such vehicles not only save precious resources but are also superior to gasoline driven vehicles as they are harmless for the surroundings.

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New record claimed for highest airship flight


On October 22nd, just a day after the first manned flight of an electric multicopter took place in Germany, California’s JP Aerospace achieved an aeronautical feat of its own – it broke the record for the world’s highest airship flight. Remotely controlled from the ground, the all-volunteer group’s Tandem twin-balloon airship reportedly ascended to an altitude of 95,085 feet (28,982 meters). That’s almost four miles (6.4 km) higher than any airship has gone before.

JP Aerospace’s Tandem class of airships are fairly spartan, consisting of two balloons mounted at either end of a central keel frame, and two six foot (1.8 meter) -long propellers, each driven by a separate electric motor – those propellers are specifically designed to work in the thin air present at high altitudes.

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First-ever manned flight of an electric multicopter takes place in Germany

By now, most readers are probably pretty familiar with quadracopters – small hovering unmanned electric aircraft, which get their lift from a set of four propellers. Well, make the whole thing larger, boost the number of propellers (and accompanying motors) to 16, and you get what German aircraft developer e-volo calls a multicopter. While the company has previously demonstrated unmanned drones, in late October it accomplished what it claims is a world first – a manned flight.

The flight took place at an airstrip in southwest Germany, and lasted one and a half minutes. Thomas Senkel, a physicist and designer/builder of the multicopter, piloted the aircraft from a center-mounted seat, using a handheld wireless control unit. The flight consisted mainly of maneuvering the multicopter around within a fairly small area – no sense in getting cocky.

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