Seem to good to be true? Then it probably is. Interesting thought though. I think they are dreaming a little to late, myself. We shall see. Unfortunately.
(By the way, I have not said a single thing about this election. The first time since 2008. Want to know why? Because as my friend Nelson said, the Democrats could run a door knob for president and I would vote for it. The Cheeto Buritto’s energy policies suck.)
Airbus has announced plans for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft models that run on hydrogen and could take to the skies by 2035.
The European aersospace company revealed three different aircraft concepts that would be put through their paces to find the most efficient way to travel long distances by plane without producing the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global heating.
UK holidaymakers and business travellers could fly from London to the Canary Islands, Athens or eastern Europe without producing carbon emissions, should the plans become a commercial reality.
Guillaume Faury, the Airbus chief executive, said the “historic moment for the commercial aviation sector” marks the “most important transition this industry has ever seen”.
It is my firm belief that most of the global warming occurring is the direct result of world wide aircraft activity: military, commercial and personal. While it is true that the carbon uptake systems world wide have been compromised or broken by our general production of carbon, it is the relentless daily flights through the atmosphere using combustion engines that are doing the bulk of the atmospheric damage.
f you like the idea of cruising on a ship in laid-back luxury, but prefer the speed and convenience of air travel, there may soon be a solution. Drawing their inspiration from the airships of yesteryear, a new generation of airship-like vehicles could soon be making their way across our skies.
In a hangar outside Tustin in California, engineers are preparing one of the most radical designs for testing. The Aeroscraft, as it is known, is the brainchild of Igor Pasternak and has been made possible by advances in materials and computer control systems.
“We are resurrecting [the airship] with new composite fabric structures, that are stronger, lighter, more versatile” says Fred Edworthy, of Aeros, the company building the lighter-than-air vehicle.
The airship in the hangar is being built to test various key components of a design that could one day contain a hotel, casino or spa. However, the company believes one of its biggest markets could be transporting freight from hard-to-reach locations or, for example, carrying wind turbine blades. Currently blades are as large as they can be to be transported on a truck.
They are small and slow, but they don’t go far. Still it is an interesting development. I mean I do not see electric 707s anytime in the future, but for enthusiasts like with the ultra lights, it has to be an exciting time. Did I mention you have to have a fairly good sized body of water to take off and land?
The newest electric airplane to make its first flight is squarely aimed at recreational fliers, even those without a pilot’s license. The FlyNano turned some heads at last year’s Aero Friedrichshafen aviation trade show in Germany thanks to its interesting design. The FlyNano is a miniature electric flying boat, making it essentially an airborne jet ski.
The original airplane was going to have a gas engine powerplant, but the Finnish company says the ever-improving electric motors and batteries means FlyNano will be an all-electric airplane moving forward.
The first flight was a very short one, just a handful of seconds. And the airplane didn’t really get out of ground effect. The wing area looks rather small for an electric airplane compared to other models we’ve seen, which tend to have the efficient, higher-aspect-ratio wings typical of sailplanes.
The designer claims a 10,000-foot ceiling for the airplane, but that might be a bit optimistic with the current setup. FlyNano says it will continue flight testing throughout the summer. We’re looking forward to seeing longer and higher flights, though the FlyNano could be fun as an aircraft designed to fly in ground effect.
While the Solar Impulse has flown around the world it has never landed at a major airport or filed a real flight plan. This is too cool for words. I know this is not an Earth Day thing but it should be.
In these last few weeks the entire Solar Impulse team has been busy doing “test flights” in the Payerne area, to test the satellite communication systems developed by Swisscom, and also the air traffic integration procedures. The support received from the aviation authorities in the overflight and destination countries has been extremely positive and constructive.
For the European solar flight campaign the Solar Impulse team, sponsored by the European Commission, has chosen Brussels as the 1st international destination. The airplane will be shown in the European capital from 23 to 29 May 2011 and will then attempt to reach Paris-Le Bourget, where it is expected as a “Special Guest” at the 49th International Paris Air Show.
“These tests have been extremely successful”, says an elated Bertrand Piccard. “Now, here we are in the definitive phase: it’s no longer a question of tests, but the real thing. And the next flights will not be made in the “familiar cocoon” of Payerne aerodrome, but in the whole of Europe…” Rather like a sailing ship that has undergone coastal trials, and is now set to cross its first ocean!
“We will be in stand-by mode from Monday”, explains André Borschberg, who will pilot the HB-SIA between Payerne and Brussels. “And we definitely mean to take the first opportunity that comes along, since we can never be sure of the weather conditions and whether they will allow us to do this flight on a particular date. With Solar Impulse we are confined to what we can do with the technology at the present time, and safety is our number one priority.”
This is tough to put up on the website primarily because I have never conquered Adobe Flash. But since their post is actually a summary of 10 of their articles from the last year I will put up the sitation (yes I spelled it that way on purpose), the head line and a copy of part of their third story. The slideshow is pretty cool however so check all of the pictures out.
One of the biggest complaints of offshore wind farms is the eye-sore factor. Apparently residents would prefer a giant coal-fired power plant polluting the planet from far away to a clean source of energy they actually have to look at. This is the essence of the NIMBY (“Not In My Back Yard”) whine.
But NIMBYist whinging is shrill, and for the residents of Nantucket Sound, powerful. Their opposition to the construction of an offshore fleet of wind turbines, part of the Cape Wind project, was enough to delay the project for years.
Enter the Windfloat.
Windfloat is an ocean-based floating wind turbine designed by the California company Marine Innovation & Technology. The turbine sits atop a 3-legged floating foundation that is based on the designs of offshore gas and oil platforms.
Due to the bulky structure of current coastal wind turbines, the structures are anchored in the seabed – limiting their positioning to shallow water depths ranging between 98 to 164 feet.
This new design, however, proves that a turbine’s size and weight need not be compromised for distance from shore. Researchers suspect that the Windfloat foundation can support a 5 megawatt turbine with a height of around 230 feet.
There is clean and then there is clean. In the world, as a rule of thumb, the North is clean and the South is dirty. Indeed only two of the top-25 cleanest cities in the world are below the Equator–Auckland, New Zealand, and Wellington, New Zealand.
The cleanest cities are largely located in countries noted for their democracy and their industrialization. The only Asian cities represented are in Japan. There are no top-25 clean cities in South or Central America, Africa and Australia. The U.S. has five of the top 25; Canada, a strong five, with the top spot its city of Calgary; Europe has 11 of the top 25; and Japan has three.
The 25 cleanest cities are located in 13 countries. It may not be accidental that these countries are among the highest in purchasing power parity according to the World Development Indicator database of the World Bank. Twelve are in the top 20, and only New Zealand lags in wealth, at No. 37 on the list of world’s wealthiest. So clean may also mean well-off.
To be clean a city has to face and solve many problems that otherwise lead to unsanitary conditions and poor health as well as possible economic stagnation. Producing energy for industry, homes and transportation has to be planned and executed reasonably, and this means some form of regulation and control.
To be clean means organizing what is done with waste. Landfills are being closed or filled up. Recycling is the only long-range answer, but this takes civic discipline, a system and preferably a system that turns a profit. Green only works well when it results in greenbacks.
In addition a city has to look closely at its transportation infrastructure (roads, rail, air, subways) and their impact upon being clean or going dirty or staying dirty. The logistics infrastructure is also critical in terms of efficiency that can translate into money and fuel savings that in turn affect cleanliness (air quality, water quality and ground quality).
Bill Nye, the Science Guy, was online Friday, May 28, at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the Gulf oil spill and the latest efforts to cap the well, including the “top kill” maneuver.
Chantilly, Va.: Why is the oil still gushing out after more than a month? I always assumed they need pumps and other equipment to get the oil to the surface. Where is the pressure coming from to continue to let the oil out of the well?
Bill Nye: The pressure driving the huge flow came or comes from ancient bacteria that fed on ancient sea plants or plankton. The bacteria gave off natural gas, also called methane. It’s trapped in a cavity under the seafloor. This gas is under about 460 atmospheres (6,800 psi) of pressure. That’s plenty to spew oil for years, or even decades.
Sarasota, Fla.: BP has not been clear about the quantity of mud versus oil coming out of their gushing pipe. There seems to be uncertainly interpreting the video. But couldn’t they determine the relative quantities from a quick, simple analysis of the fluid they are pumping to the surface? —
Bill Nye: The head BP guy this morning made the extraordinary, and probably not quite accurate, claim that no oil has been coming out, while the mud is flowing. He probably just meant the flow of oil is way down. Such an estimate is very hard, because most of the oil doesn’t make it to the surface. It becomes neutrally buoyant goo. Yikes.
Please follow the link for the rest of the Q&A. It is pretty basic.
(CNN) — Icelandic authorities evacuated about 800 people early Wednesday when a volcano erupted beneath the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, an emergency spokesman said.
The first evacuations began at 2 a.m. (10 p.m. ET Tuesday), according to Rognvaldur Olafsson, chief inspector at Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. He said everyone in the area was safe.
“We have located the fissure that is erupting under the glacier,” Olafsson told CNN. He said scientists are currently doing aerial reconnaissance of the area and that officials would know more when they return.
So far, he said, the eruption has created a large hole in the glacier. Lava is not a big concern but flooding is, he said.
Rivers closest to the glacier have already started rising, he added.
The glacier is the sixth-biggest in Iceland, just to the west of the bigger glacier, Myrdalsjokull. It is about 100 miles (160 km) east of the capital, Reykjavik.
So will it effect the environment. Yes. Anything that disrupts air travel is a good thing because air travel is one of the largest causes of global warming. Will it cool the planet any. Probably not but if Kitra goes off it could be a major event and the last three times “Eyja” went off Kitra did too. So keep on watching folks. Air travel here was disrupted too so it was nice to sit on my swing out back and look at the stars with no blinking jet lights.
And yes, an Oil Rig blew up and sank. What, that doesn’t happen everyday? I guess the gulf needs 42,000 gallons of oil spilled in it every day for God knows how long.
Officials Wait to See if Unmanned Submarines Can Activate Cut-Off Valves a Mile Below Gulf of Mexico Surface
Authorities continue to monitor the size and direction of a Gulf of Mexico oil sheen by air, while using robotic underwater equipment to try to shut off its source at a wrecked deepwater drilling platform.
The Coast Guard and the companies that owned an operated the rig plan a Monday afternoon news conference in Robert, La., the site of a command center established over the weekend to deal with the crisis.
The oil has been leaking at a rate estimated at 42,000 gallons a day. Workers are trying to make sure the oil doesn’t reach the Gulf Coast’s fragile ecosystem.
Crews began using a robot submarine Sunday to try to the leak nearly a mile below the surface, but said it would take at least another day before they knew whether the job was completed.
The Coast Guard said the oil spill was expected to stay 30 miles off the coast for the next several days.
The robot submarines are trying to activate valves at the well head. If that doesn’t work, crews are also planning to drill a relief well to cut off the flow – which could take several months.
What appeared to a manageable spill a couple of days ago after an oil rig exploded and sank off the Louisiana coast Tuesday, has now turned into a more serious environmental problem. The new leak was discovered Saturday, and as much as 1,000 barrels – or 42,000 gallons – of oil is leaking each day, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said.
This is what they want in the artic? If they drill off Virginia, is this what they want coming up Chesapeake Bay?