Solar powered plane

"Headed by engineer and fighter pilot Andre Borshberg and psychiatrist and balloonist Bertrand Piccard, and backed by Deutsche Bank, the Omega watch company and the Solvay Idustrial group, Solar Impulse has produced a plane that is equal parts elegant and improbable. The Solar Impulse HB-S1A has a wingspan of 208 ft. (63.4 m)—as large as that of an Airbus A340—yet it weighs only 3,500 lbs (1,600 kg), about the size of an average car. A lot of that weight is solar panels, which cover the wings and the smaller tail fins. The plane has reached an altitude of 30,300 ft. (9,235 m) and stayed aloft for a record 26 hrs., 10 mins and 19 secs. The developers don’t pretend there’s anything remotely practical about the HB-S1A yet. Like Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, it carries a crew of one. But like that long ago plane too, it’s meant as a proof of concept—and a teaser of what’s to come. ”Our plane is not designed to carry a passenger, but to carry a message,” Piccard likes to say. Message received.


So you say that you take that link you gave seriously?? It's a joke. There are so many things wrong in it that I had hard time believing you gave it. Go read it carefully and look at the figures he gives as facts. Not the calculations, the figures.

Offered it as an example; there are others with different calculations. Early atmosphere was certainly thicker than now, there's geological evidence. And just unloading all the laid down limestone of its CO2 would make many atmospheres' pressure vs. current. And where did the O2 come from we have now? Not only doesn't it persist long in a free state, but it is a product of photosynthesis which takes the C from CO2 and leaves the oxygen. So at the very least CO2, which is heavier than O2, N2, or H2O, was 600 times as prevalent as now.

It is possible that atmosphere has been somewhat thicker at ancient times, but that Quetzalcoatlus cannot be used as evidence for it. First of all it died only 65 million years ago (yes, that is "only"), and secondly largest flying bird (Argentavis magnificens) had about 7 meter wingspan and that died only about 8 million years ago.

Cyanobacteria has been around for about three billion years. Photosynthesis is old thing. Older than multicellular life forms. Earth is about four billion years old, so "early atmosphere" has had time to change quite a lot.

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