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Dinelli plans to Fly from Paris to New York in solar, powered plane

Dinelli plans to Fly from Paris to New York in solar, powered plane  


6 years ago

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French adventurer Raphaël Dinelli plans to fly across the Atlantic from Paris to New York in a non-polluting plane powered only by algae and sunshine.

Dinelli, 44, has been training for 18 months for his pilot's licence and is planning to build and test a prototype of the "green" airplane this year, France24 reported.

The plane, called Eraole, will be 8 meters long, with a wingspan of 14 meters and made of carbon fibre. It will weigh 750 kilograms.

At the beginning, Dinelli and his team considered using batteries to power the aircraft but then calculated that, for the estimated 50 hour flight across the Atlantic, the batteries would be too heavy.

They then considered the idea of using hydrogen, but decided that would make the plane a potential "bomb".

Eventually, they decided to use a diesel generator powered by oil extracted from micro-algae to generate 75 percent of the energy. The other 25 percent will be provided by solar panels, France24 reported.

"If I succeed, it will be the first transatlantic flight in history without a carbon footprint," Dinelli told Le Figaro.

Dinelli plans to make the flight in June 2015 to exploit the long hours of sunshine at the summer solstice, although he says the flight will need good weather and a favourable wind.

To save weight, his cockpit will also not be pressurised.

Dinelli told the media he is emulating Charles Lindbergh, the most celebrated of aviation pioneers. Driven by the same passion for innovation and "extreme challenges, Dinelli thinks aviation should turn start turning to other technologies to limit greenhouse gas emissions and costs, he told Le Figaro.

"I know that tomorrow, Airbus will not only fly with photovoltaic panels and micro-algae oil, but it's a small step," he said.

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