Environmentalists excited: It takes 63% longer to fly a single-seat solar plane from Cincinnati to DC than to drive
The fastest route for cars between Cincinnati and Dulles International Airport (IAD) outside DC is hardly a straight line. But despite that disadvantage the new solar plane that environmentalists are excited that a solar powered plane that can hold nothing more than the pilot took 14 hours and 4 minutes. The car, which you could load down with all sorts of cargo, would take 8 hours and 37 minutes. To put it differently, the solar plane took 63 percent longer to make the trip -- non-stop, not a very fun trip. The trip apparently averaged 30.9 miles per hour over the 435 miles (not exactly the "around 40 mph" noted in the article). Can the AP do division to check out the facts that they are given? Possibly environmentalists simply don't value people's time. From the AP:
. . . Solar Impulse's website said the aircraft with its massive wings and thousands of photovoltaic cells "gracefully touched down" at 12:15 a.m. EDT after 14 hours and four minutes of flight from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dulles in Washington's Virginia suburbs. . . .
It's the first bid by a solar plane capable of being airborne day and night without fuel to fly across the U.S, at speeds reaching about 40 mph. The flight originated from San Francisco via Arizona, Texas, Missouri and Ohio onward to Dulles with stops of several days in cities along the way.
Organizers said in a blog post early Sunday that Piccard soared across the Appalachian mountains on a 435-mile (700-kilometer) course from Cincinnati to the Washington area, averaging 31 mph (50 kph). It was the second phase of a leg that began in St. Louis.
The plane, considered the world's most advanced sun-powered aircraft, is powered by about 12,000 photovoltaic cells that cover its enormous wings and charge its batteries during the day. The single-seat Solar Impulse flies around 40 mph and can't go through clouds; weighing about as much as a car, the aircraft also took longer than a car to complete the journey from Ohio to the East Coast. . . . .