Two pilots have filed safety reports with NASA’s ASRS system about the recently opened Ivanpah solar energy plant in San Bernardino County, Calif. The pilots said they were nearly blinded by the glare off the energy plant’s expansive mirror system. The Ivanpah plant uses 173,500 large mirrors to reflect sunlight onto boilers atop three 459-foot towers. Ivanpah’s co-owner and operator, NRG Energy, was notified of the “blinding” complaints last week and said it would respond within 10 days.
In collaboration with Sunpartner Technologies, Lyon, France-based Vision Systems will unveil a solar-powered, autonomous dimmable aircraft window dubbed Energia next month at the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas. Using Sunpartner’s Wysips (“What You See Is a Photovoltaic Surface”) technology, solar energy is harvested on the ground or in flight and stored in a battery integrated into the window. The generated electrical energy allows the dimmable system to run during the flight. The design eliminates the need for network cabling, making installation and maintenance easier.
World Fuel Services (Booth 359) has announced the availability of a modular online learning program for employees of its partner FBOs worldwide. World Fuel oversees the Air Elite and World Fuel Network member FBOs, and makes the e-learning program available to member companies’ employees free of charge.
Boeing took a significant step toward returning the 787 to service on Friday, when it flew Dreamliner Line Number 86 on a one-hour, 49-minute mission to demonstrate conformity of its battery system modification to U.S. certification authorities.
The Solar Impulse project recently received a burst of sunshine in the form of financial support from a commercial insurance firm, bolstering the team’s plans to complete the world’s first global circumnavigation by a piloted, solar-powered aircraft.
Texas-based aircraft battery and power equipment manufacturer MarathonNorco is on hand at NBAA’12 to introduce the latest addition to its line of Christie battery analyzers. The RF80-M aircraft battery charger/analyzer incorporates new advanced micro-controller technology with a programmable touchscreen display, while building on the company’s existing power circuitry and durability from its previous models. Battery analysis can be performed either in manual mode or by utilizing the system’s programmable modes. The RF80-M will store up to 100 battery processing programs.
The FAA has granted FAA-PMA approval to the new Hartzell Engine Technologies ALV-9610 100-amp alternator for Continental -470, -520 and -550 piston engines, which replaces the original Crittendon and ALV-9510 units. The new alternator weighs 12.75 pounds, saving up to 9.25 pounds per alternator, and features a compact design with integral noise filtering. Cost of the ALV-9610 is $1,100, with a $425 core charge and two-year warranty.
Simrit, a global supplier of precision-manufactured products for the aerospace industry, is focusing on fuel efficiency as the main theme during the show. The company is promoting its recently developed proprietary, low-density silicone materials–AMS 3302 and AMS 3303–to commercial airframe manufacturers. It has started supply to an undisclosed manufacturer, and the first aircraft using the new material will enter service in early 2014.
L2 Aerospace and Cella Energy have teamed up to develop hydrogen storage technology for small, fuel-cell-powered unmanned aircraft systems and potentially other, larger manned and unmanned vehicles. The companies are displaying a mockup of a concept design here at the Farnborough International Airshow (Hall 3 Stand B25).
The world debut of solar-powered Solar Impulse airplane could hardly have happened in less auspicious weather conditions.
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