Energychallenge’s Weblog

LISA Airplanes, a French Company, is Building its New “Hy-Bird” Airplane Powered by Renewable Energy

Posted in Energy Solutions by Howard Deutsch on July 16, 2008

Will renewable energy sources power airplanes in the future?

The “Hy-Bird” project plans to fly around the world with a 100% clean electric airplane powered only by renewable energies: solar energy and hydrogen.

Photovoltaic cells affixed on the wing and on the horizontal tail will supply sufficient energy for the take off and for on-board power supply. Besides, a fuel cell will fuel the aircraft for cruise flight. An electric engine (more silent than heat engines) will propel Hy-Bird.

Trina Solar of China will supply the solar panels for Hy-Bird. According to the Trina Solar website, the airplane will be built by the end of 2009.

This is an innovative project that may lead to using renewable energy sources for powering, or at least partially powering some airplanes. It is not clear that renewable energy will be a viable source of power for commercial aircraft in the foreseeable future, but it may be successful for some smaller airplanes.


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