Thursday, September 20, 2012

Geothermal Powered Flight

For a long time I've had a line of reasoning in my head that goes like this:  It seems to me that it is a waste to use up gasoline on cars.  There is a limited amount of oil on the planet, so we should keep it for applications really need it, like flying which can only be done with fossil fuels, not driving where we have alternatives to oil (electric cars come to mind).  Meanwhile commercial flight is really dependent on fossil fuels.  It if we couldn't fly anymore, that would be a bad thing.

It turns out that there is a significant push to make electric flight practical.  The CAFE Foundation has created the Green Flight Challenge where participants fly across the country with aircraft that use renewable fuel.  A really cool feature of this contest is that the aircraft batteries were charged at the first ever Electric Aircraft Charging Station in Sonoma where the electricity is supplied entirely by geothermal electricity.  So these airplanes flew completely without the use of fossil fuels.  I think that is pretty awesome.  The charging station simultaneously provides 9600 watts of power to each of 12 aircraft all from geothermally generated power... and electric powered human flight is pretty cool too.

Lets hear it for Fossil Fuel Free Flight!!!

The video below shows you what these aircraft look like.

Below is a video of a short TED Talk about the event.