Thursday, March 18, 2010

An Interesting New Development in Clean Flight

As visitors here would know, transportation is something that this blog is very interested in and this post from Gizmag, a blog that I refer to as frequently as they send me their regular updates, has something VERY interesting to offer. A helicopter that runs on 70% Hydrogen Peroxide and which uses a unique tip-jet powered system has the potential to reduce the usage of fossil fuel in single and two seat helicopters very substantially. Add to this with the fact that this is easy to fly - I shall take Gizmag's opinion here as I am not a pilot myself and they are experts who know their stuff - and this should make for safety, fun and more.

My hat's off to the Swissscopter company for their fantastic achievement and I shall await information on their two seat design as it receives certification. Do check their website out and subscribe to Gizmag. It is a website well worth subscribing to if you are a technology buff of any kind.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

SolarBullet Campaign shoots for high-speed solar train

SolarBullet Campaign shoots for high-speed solar train

This is something that could have fantastic implications for a country like India if it becomes successful. Imagine a train that is fast, clean and capable of carrying people from point to point with very low fuel costs - while this may or may not be practical on long distance routes, in the numerous mass transit trains that are being planned in the cities, this would be fantastic. My guess is that the monsoon would probably be the only time that these trains may need an external supply of electricity to run. At all other periods, they would simply be perfect.

I recall the days of steam engined trains from when I was a boy - people would advise anyone who traveled on Indian Railways back in those days not to take the first three or four compartments on any train or else they would end up looking like chimney-sweeps at the end of their journey. It is not all that different with diesel engined trains these days. A clean solar powered train that works on the light of the sun would be a magnificent clean alternative.

I do hope planners in India are looking at this project carefully. The Solar Bullet Website is: Link.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The World's Largest Solar Powered Vessel to Navigate the Globe in 2011

Gizmag has a very intriguing piece about a large vessel built in Germany and designed in france which will travel around the world using the power of the sun alone in 2011 Link. With the use of lightweight composites and some of the most advanced technology available today, the vessel will travel at 8 knots and show what is possible in today's world with available technology. Considering that ships put out more pollution than all the cars in the world combined, this project by Planet Solar is expected to raise awareness of the possibilities available to anyone who would care to use them.

I'll admit that this is an impressive technological tour de force. A 31 meter boat that can traverse the world at 8 knots using solar power is simply magnificent. But what about using the power of the wind? The last tea clippers were as fast as some of the commercial vessels today with speeds averaging 16 knots - twice what the Planet Solar vessel can achieve. In any case, it is always a positive thing to see a new technological direction and you can rest assured that after Planet Solar's debut, the vessel's designers would try and improve significantly upon its performance using lessons learned from their trip around the world. Exciting times are in store indeed! This boy from a seaside town is very, very excited!