There’s a new aircraft in the skies that could be changing the way we fly. It’s from a company called Solar Impulse and it doesn’t fly on traditional jet fuel or other combustible material. It’s flying on solar power. The aircraft itself has a wingspan of of just over 200 feet. It contains four electric motors which give it 10 horsepower which is enough to fly cross-country. The top speed of this aircraft is a speedy 50 mph.
While not particularly speedy, the photovoltaic panels on the HB-SIA were built by the transcontinental solar flight record holder Eric Raymond.
Solar Impulse has been flying the HB-SIA for three years and even had a flight lasting longer than 26 hours. The pilot was able to gain altitude and charge batteries during the day while still flying and slowly descending during the evening.
Solar Impulse’s ultimate goal is to fly around the globe in 2015. The team expects to begin construction on the larger plan this fall. Currently, a team in California and engineers in Switzerland are completing the design on the airplane.
Where will solar take us next? Who can tell but solar powered aircraft have many potential advantages. We could find low cost ways of shipping products across the country, replacements for surveillance drones and more.
Woburn, Mass.-based Teffafugia Inc. said Monday (April 2) that its prototype flying car has completed its first flight, bringing the company closer to its goal of selling within the next year. The “Transition” has two seats, four wheels and wings that fold up so it can be driven like a car.
If you are ready to invest the $279,000 expected to be the cost of the vehicle, keep in mind you will need to pass a test and complete 20 hours of flying time to be able to fly the Transition. Also, the fuel consumption for the 23-gallon tank (which uses automotive fuel) will be about 5 gallons per hour in the air and 35 miles per gallon on the road. Ready to buy? Join the 100 people who have already put down the $10,000 deposit to get the first ones!
Okay. Now you have your private license and you are thinking of renting a plane before buying. What will the approximate cost be? At the low end would be a Cessna 150/152 at about $80-$90 per hour. Move to a four seater ( Grumman Tiger, Cessna Skyhawk, Piper Archer) and the cost goes to $110-$140 per hour. And finally, a Piper Saratoga or Cirrus and you’re talking $200-$300 per hour, depending on the age of the plane. Aircraft is usually rented with fuel included (wet) but there could be a fuel surcharge. Keep in mind there will probably be a daily minimum of 3 hours and there are no “one ways”! Count the cost and have a great adventure!
Per Lion Air’s website:
“The 737-900ER has substantial economic advantages over competing models, including 6% lower operating costs per trip and 4% lower operating costs per seat than its competitor – which is more than 9,550 pounds (4,340 kg) heavier than its competitor. The 737-900ER joins the 737-600, 700, 700ER and 800 airplanes and will share the same industry-leading reliability of the other Next-Generation 737 series models.”
This news comes just shortly after Dubai’s Emirates airline ordered 50 of the 777-300 just a few days ago. Looks like the aviation industry is doing just fine in the middle east and the Asia-Pacific market.
According to most people,three of your best choices would be a Piper Cherokee, a Cessna 172, or a Cessna 182. The 172 is the world’s most popular trainer and ideal for short hops as a private flyer. In comparing Pipers with Cessnas, it’s all up to individual preference. If you want to carry more weight, the scale edges toward the Piper. If you have short field problems where approach speed matters, go with the Cessnas. Good used aircraft can be found at www.aircraftdealer.com…Piper Cherokees from $26,500 to $99,000… Cessna 172′s from $19,500 to $297,000…and Cessna 182′s from $48,000 to $349,500.
How is the economy effecting used aircraft for sale? Is a Cessna 172 worth less than it was 5 years ago? Does the King Air still command the high dollar? Is the small business jet like the Cessna Citation or the Learjet still maintaining their value? Used aircraft for sale seems to be right with the economy. When the economy is good, used aircraft sales go up, but when it is down, used aircraft sales go down. So would buying a used aircraft in this economy at the low price, and holding on to it be a good investment idea?
To obtain a private pilot certificate, a person must be at least 17 years old and
have a minimum of 35 to 40 flight hours, depending on the type of school
attended. Pilots must also pass a 60-question, multiple-choice,
FAA-written examination and a “checkride” with an FAA examiner.
As a private pilot, a person is allowed to fly alone or with passengers.
Special weather requirements pertaining to visibility and cloud
conditions must be met. A medical exam must be passed every two years as
well. Those pilots are not allowed to be paid for their services. They must have a commerical license to qualify for charging for flying services.
Instrument-rated pilots are allowed to fly when visibility is poor and
clouds are low in the sky. Those pilots are required to have a total of
125 hours of pilot experience and 40 hours of instrument instruction, in
addition to passing a written test and a “checkride.”
The cost to get your pilot’s license is not cheap! Somewhere between $3000 to $5000, but this can vary depending on the region, type of aircraft, type of ground school, etc.
You must pass the basic medical exam that all applicants are required to undergo, certifying that you meet the medical standards for safely operating an aircraft.
All in all, before you start make sure you are 100% dedicated to getting your license, (actually the correct term is “certificate” but only the FAA use that term). There are many that start the program and even solo but never finish. Flying can be a fantastic venture for anyone that wants the challenge, but count the cost and don’t try it unless you are serious about it.
Aviation has come a long way since the Wright Brothers set sail at Kitty Hawk. Aircraft are faster more sofisticated and practically fly themselves. So what improvements can be made in the future. Personal flying might be the answer. Think how nice it would be to get from A to B fast without all the hassle of booking a flight, driving to the airport, checking in, going thru security that invades your privacy, and all the other things that make you wonder if it’s worth it to fly. Even if you have your own aircraft you still have a process that is time consuming at best. But what if you had your own personal aircraft? You know strap a jetpack to your back and then off you go? “I steer myself in space with only my body,” says pilot Yves Rossy, who invented his jet-powered personal wings. This may seem far fetched right now, but society is demanding better ways to travel, and this guy just might have the right idea. It may be 5 years or 25 years from now but it is coming. So get ready to strap in!