Solar Impulse

Hats off to all those behind the Solar Impulse project attempt to circumnavigate the Earth by a piloted fixed wing aircraft powered solely by solar power.

Presently the Solar Impulse is within striking distance of Hawaii after leaving Japan and covering 7,471km (4,642 miles) overcoming turbulence at 8,000 feet from two cold fronts which made things “difficult”.

We here at Prairie look forward to a future where the lessons learned from the Solar Impulse will hopefully mean air travel that does not impact on the environment as it does today with the excessive co2 emissions produced by the fossil fuels used to power aircraft. With scaling up, advances and investment in solar cells, lithium batteries and miniaturisation we hope to at some point be able to visit our Fairtrade organic manufacturers in Asia without impacting on the environment. Who knows we may even be able to have our orders of Prairie 100% Fairtrade Organic cotton t-shirts, hoods and sweatshirts delivered by solar powered drones.

In the meantime we are guessing that Andre Borchberg the Swiss aviator and one of the iniators of the Solar Impulse project is finding it pretty cold up there. The aircraft is operating at a hight above 9,000 meters (29,500 feet) and due to weight constraints plus that to heat the unpressurised cockpit would mean less power for the engines he also has no heating.

After spending over 100 hours piloting the Solar Impulse Andre must be dreaming of a change of clothes probably with a top layer involving a nice warm, comfortable hoody. Perhaps similar to one of our Prairie Unisex Fairtrade Organic Hoods.

In the meantime we look forward to a brighter future using sustainable energy sources to take the place of fossil fuels. Just like how Andre Borchberg is looking forward to the sun rising on the horizon and eventually landing in Hawaii. We wish him a well earned rest.

For more information on Solar Impulse go to wikipedia or to the Solar Impulse website.

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