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(CNN)   A380 marks 5 years in sky. You'd think they would have to refuel or something   (cnn.com) divider line 101
    More: Cool, widebodies, Airbus A380, Commercial aviation  
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4191 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Dec 2012 at 2:10 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-03 10:19:40 AM
They can refuel in the air, dipshiatmitter.
 
2012-12-03 10:26:55 AM
So honest question since the headline sparked it in my head.

Why haven't airline companies started developing solar panels for the wings/tops of planes? You'd figure once the big ones broke cloud cover there'd be a hell of a lot of energy up there. I know they have that small unmanned plane that's been flying by solar panels for a looong time (I think it set a world record), but I'm just surprised no one's actually tried to do something like that on a commercial/military plane.
 
2012-12-03 10:30:22 AM

scottydoesntknow: Why haven't airline companies started developing solar panels for the wings/tops of planes? You'd figure once the big ones broke cloud cover there'd be a hell of a lot of energy up there. I know they have that small unmanned plane that's been flying by solar panels for a looong time (I think it set a world record), but I'm just surprised no one's actually tried to do something like that on a commercial/military plane.


Probably nowhere near enough energy to be had for the energy required to keep a commercial jet in flight. You'd better believe if they COULD get free energy, the airline companies would be doing it, so it must just not be enough to even bother with as as supplement.
 
2012-12-03 11:14:12 AM
Why can't they build it so that the passengers have to use bicycle pedals to power the propellers?  Do you want to live?  Well pick up the pace.
 
We would all be incredibly fit. 
 
2012-12-03 11:14:13 AM
Maybe it flies on hopes and dreams??...
 
2012-12-03 12:14:10 PM
And it's still clipping buildings and other aircraft while taxi-ing, due to its insane size, and it still can't reach as many airports as a 747, due to its massive weight.


/if it ain't Boeing, I'm not going
 
2012-12-03 01:06:42 PM

nekom: scottydoesntknow: Why haven't airline companies started developing solar panels for the wings/tops of planes? You'd figure once the big ones broke cloud cover there'd be a hell of a lot of energy up there. I know they have that small unmanned plane that's been flying by solar panels for a looong time (I think it set a world record), but I'm just surprised no one's actually tried to do something like that on a commercial/military plane.

Probably nowhere near enough energy to be had for the energy required to keep a commercial jet in flight. You'd better believe if they COULD get free energy, the airline companies would be doing it, so it must just not be enough to even bother with as as supplement.


Probably also the added weight of solar panels on the scale of a large airliner is enough to offset the energy gained. You also reduce the amount of passengers/cargo you can carry by adding that weight for at best not a lot of savings per flight.

Also, I imagine they kept that small plane you mentioned flying in ideal weather conditions. It wouldn't take much to ruin solar cells in real-world flying conditions.
 
2012-12-03 01:22:31 PM

OregonVet: They can refuel in the air, dipshiatmitter.


ummmmm...no.
 
2012-12-03 02:23:16 PM
It's an Airbus, I would say the fact it actually makes it to it's destinations at all is an accomplishment.
 
2012-12-03 02:27:49 PM

SultanofSchwing: It's an Airbus, I would say the fact it actually makes it to it's destinations at all is an accomplishment.


"The computers worked again!"
 
2012-12-03 02:28:46 PM
i find the term "Air Bus" to be hilarious. Why genius came up with this name? Flying is awesome, magical experience. And some guy in Europe came up with a name that completely ruins the majesty of flight...
 
2012-12-03 02:29:18 PM
Wow...I used it's instead of its...I need more coffee.
 
2012-12-03 02:29:36 PM

OregonVet: They can refuel in the air, dipshiatmitter.


Haha, what?


scottydoesntknow: So honest question since the headline sparked it in my head.

Why haven't airline companies started developing solar panels for the wings/tops of planes? You'd figure once the big ones broke cloud cover there'd be a hell of a lot of energy up there. I know they have that small unmanned plane that's been flying by solar panels for a looong time (I think it set a world record), but I'm just surprised no one's actually tried to do something like that on a commercial/military plane.


My guess is the cost of installing solar panels to power the electronics is more than that of using a generator attached to the engines. Plus, you still need to have generators on board to fly at night and under cloud cover, so you wouldn't even be replacing all of the electric generation capacity.

Also, an electric motor cannot generate the necessary thrust to power an large jumbo.
 
2012-12-03 02:29:38 PM

pacified: i find the term "Air Bus" to be hilarious. Why What genius came up with this name? Flying is an awesome, magical experience. And some guy in Europe came up with a name that completely ruins the majesty of flight...


FTFM
 
2012-12-03 02:36:33 PM

pacified: i find the term "Air Bus" to be hilarious. Why genius came up with this name? Flying is awesome, magical experience. And some guy in Europe came up with a name that completely ruins the majesty of flight...


It's from the 80's :) I guess it sounds chic if you're not a native speaker.

It's a very appropriate name in many ways for their bread and butter A320 haulers .... easyJet (UK's answer to Southwest) is very much like a coach service, and not in a bad way.
 
2012-12-03 02:36:47 PM
I actually saw one of these behemoths coming in to land last night. (DFW) It was massive an appeared slow compared to the bulk of aircraft I see landing from my viewpoint about 2 miles east of the approach paths.

And hey, I used to live right under the approach path for 17R, and I've watched A380's fly under 2000 feet over my head.
 
2012-12-03 02:41:58 PM
Micro fractures & engines failing on the a380 = ehhh pass til'' the next gen.

/also how many of our children have to die...etc?
//I summon thee bevets
 
2012-12-03 02:44:15 PM

Grand_Moff_Joseph: And it's still clipping buildings and other aircraft while taxi-ing, due to its insane size, and it still can't reach as many airports as a 747, due to its massive weight.


/if it ain't Boeing, I'm not going


I love the 747, I grew up flying on them as a kid and it's an awesome piece of engineering. Nothing like the feel of 270 tonnes hauling ass like a sports car on a full power take off. I can't wait to try an A380 too.

When it comes to the smaller ones, the A320 is (slightly) superior to the 737 in a lot of ways, from passenger comfort to its safety record.
 
2012-12-03 02:48:08 PM

Minarets: OregonVet: They can refuel in the air, dipshiatmitter.

Haha, what?


scottydoesntknow: So honest question since the headline sparked it in my head.

Why haven't airline companies started developing solar panels for the wings/tops of planes? You'd figure once the big ones broke cloud cover there'd be a hell of a lot of energy up there. I know they have that small unmanned plane that's been flying by solar panels for a looong time (I think it set a world record), but I'm just surprised no one's actually tried to do something like that on a commercial/military plane.

My guess is the cost of installing solar panels to power the electronics is more than that of using a generator attached to the engines. Plus, you still need to have generators on board to fly at night and under cloud cover, so you wouldn't even be replacing all of the electric generation capacity.

Also, an electric motor cannot generate the necessary thrust to power an large jumbo.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_aircraft
spoiler alert: apparently wusses have a problem with so-called "radiation sickness" so we don't have what it takes to do this
 
2012-12-03 02:50:56 PM
watching those things land is freaking cool, it looks awkward as such a big object gently floats down
 
2012-12-03 02:57:29 PM

scottydoesntknow: So honest question since the headline sparked it in my head.

Why haven't airline companies started developing solar panels for the wings/tops of planes? You'd figure once the big ones broke cloud cover there'd be a hell of a lot of energy up there. I know they have that small unmanned plane that's been flying by solar panels for a looong time (I think it set a world record), but I'm just surprised no one's actually tried to do something like that on a commercial/military plane.


It's not that there isn't "a helluva lot" in human terms coming down on that much sunny surface. I do solar cooking and whatnot, and could boil several hundred pots of rice on that much sunny real estate.

What you underestimate is exactly how much power we're talking about with an airplane. A 747 or 380 will average 140MW of power consumption. Roughly on par with a Nimitz-class Navy carrier, or about 1/4-1/3rd of the power of the average nuclear power reactor in the US. Roughly the consumption of Des Moines. That's average... full thrust for takeoff is basically a nuclear reactor at full-bore. A mind-numbing amount of power.

Take the dimensions of a A380. I'm getting under 1000 m^2 of surface. Even with perfect solar conversion at the equator (400 W/m^2... we're nowhere near there), we'd be at 400 kW. Or one-quarter-of-1%-of-cruising-energy consumption. In reality, not even a tenth of that.
 
2012-12-03 02:59:19 PM
i2.cdn.turner.com

Don't tell me how far an airplane will almost make it.
 
2012-12-03 03:01:58 PM
It's been my experience that the business class cabin in the A380 is nicer than that in the 747.

/26 minutes...
 
2012-12-03 03:14:51 PM
Yay! Airbus thread! Summon Zeio!

i297.photobucket.com

i297.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-03 03:38:14 PM
ScareBus, etc. and so on.
 
2012-12-03 03:44:41 PM
From what a pilot friend told me, Airbus uses a design where the controls are all fly-by-wire and the like, making each plane lighter thus being more efficient. What made me giggle is that the solution to regaining avionic control if both engines crap out is an automatic windmill generator or something so that the plane has sufficient electric power to operate the control surfaces. Didn't endear me to the robustness of the brand.

Comfort side, the windows on the A319/320/321 sit a little higher than the windows on the 737-x00s, but the seats just feel better in the 737s to me.

/waiting for my 737-800 to Newark
//second of ten flights this week, ugh
 
2012-12-03 03:48:07 PM

Lawnchair: scottydoesntknow: So honest question since the headline sparked it in my head.

Why haven't airline companies started developing solar panels for the wings/tops of planes? You'd figure once the big ones broke cloud cover there'd be a hell of a lot of energy up there. I know they have that small unmanned plane that's been flying by solar panels for a looong time (I think it set a world record), but I'm just surprised no one's actually tried to do something like that on a commercial/military plane.

It's not that there isn't "a helluva lot" in human terms coming down on that much sunny surface. I do solar cooking and whatnot, and could boil several hundred pots of rice on that much sunny real estate.

What you underestimate is exactly how much power we're talking about with an airplane. A 747 or 380 will average 140MW of power consumption. Roughly on par with a Nimitz-class Navy carrier, or about 1/4-1/3rd of the power of the average nuclear power reactor in the US. Roughly the consumption of Des Moines. That's average... full thrust for takeoff is basically a nuclear reactor at full-bore. A mind-numbing amount of power.

Take the dimensions of a A380. I'm getting under 1000 m^2 of surface. Even with perfect solar conversion at the equator (400 W/m^2... we're nowhere near there), we'd be at 400 kW. Or one-quarter-of-1%-of-cruising-energy consumption. In reality, not even a tenth of that.


Which makes it all the more awe inspiring when a 747 floats off the runway like it was meant to be in the sky in the first place.

/love a good airplane thread.
 
2012-12-03 03:53:42 PM

ShadowLAnCeR: Lawnchair: scottydoesntknow: So honest question since the headline sparked it in my head.

Why haven't airline companies started developing solar panels for the wings/tops of planes? You'd figure once the big ones broke cloud cover there'd be a hell of a lot of energy up there. I know they have that small unmanned plane that's been flying by solar panels for a looong time (I think it set a world record), but I'm just surprised no one's actually tried to do something like that on a commercial/military plane.

It's not that there isn't "a helluva lot" in human terms coming down on that much sunny surface. I do solar cooking and whatnot, and could boil several hundred pots of rice on that much sunny real estate.

What you underestimate is exactly how much power we're talking about with an airplane. A 747 or 380 will average 140MW of power consumption. Roughly on par with a Nimitz-class Navy carrier, or about 1/4-1/3rd of the power of the average nuclear power reactor in the US. Roughly the consumption of Des Moines. That's average... full thrust for takeoff is basically a nuclear reactor at full-bore. A mind-numbing amount of power.

Take the dimensions of a A380. I'm getting under 1000 m^2 of surface. Even with perfect solar conversion at the equator (400 W/m^2... we're nowhere near there), we'd be at 400 kW. Or one-quarter-of-1%-of-cruising-energy consumption. In reality, not even a tenth of that.

Which makes it all the more awe inspiring when a 747 floats off the runway like it was meant to be in the sky in the first place.

/love a good airplane thread.


It also puts into perspective how effective biological creature are at converting energy from the sun and storing it... well, if sufficient time is allowed.
 
2012-12-03 03:58:37 PM

OregonVet: They can refuel in the air, dipshiatmitter.


No they can't, its an A380, not a VC-25.
 
2012-12-03 03:58:59 PM

Solon Isonomia: //second of ten flights this week, ugh


Good luck, we're all counting on you.
 
2012-12-03 03:59:24 PM

Solon Isonomia: What made me giggle is that the solution to regaining avionic control if both engines crap out is an automatic windmill generator or something so that the plane has sufficient electric power to operate the control surfaces.


That's not just an Airbus thing, that's a common feature for commercial aircraft. Hydraulic pump and/or generator, without engines you're going to need to get it from somewhere.
 
2012-12-03 04:00:06 PM

Solon Isonomia: What made me giggle is that the solution to regaining avionic control if both engines crap out is an automatic windmill generator or something so that the plane has sufficient electric power to operate the control surfaces. Didn't endear me to the robustness of the brand.


You are describing the RAT, which is extremely common on modern aircraft and is available as an emergency backup on every airliner you're at all like to take a ride on. It is by no means an Airbus thing.
 
2012-12-03 04:03:16 PM

Cup Check: Yay! Airbus thread! Summon Zeio!

[i297.photobucket.com image 300x238]

[i297.photobucket.com image 300x418]


I never really understood his shtick. Trolling about airplanes isn't going to get that many people riled up, because most of us don't give a fark, so it wouldn't make sense for him to just be trying to get bites. If you want to do that on Fark, just go over to the politics tab and start spewing right-wing talking points. On the other hand, if that guy actually had that much of a personal hatred for Airbus, then he really needed professional help.
 
2012-12-03 04:08:06 PM

HMS_Blinkin: I never really understood his shtick. Trolling about airplanes isn't going to get that many people riled up, because most of us don't give a fark, so it wouldn't make sense for him to just be trying to get bites. If you want to do that on Fark, just go over to the politics tab and start spewing right-wing talking points. On the other hand, if that guy actually had that much of a personal hatred for Airbus, then he really needed professional help.


It's been forever since I've seen him at all, actually. But he seemed pretty committed to his bit back in the Air France 447 threads when the meme was born.
 
2012-12-03 04:09:10 PM
(stupid phone app, can't double quote) Right, I know the generator is quite necessary on modern planes, but IIRC the Airbus is strictly controlled via electronics between the cockpit and control surfaces as opposed to what Boeing does. Or is my memory off?
 
2012-12-03 04:10:39 PM

Arkanaut: Solon Isonomia: //second of ten flights this week, ugh

Good luck, we're all counting on you.


I'll avoid the fish.
 
2012-12-03 04:18:26 PM

Solon Isonomia: Right, I know the generator is quite necessary on modern planes, but IIRC the Airbus is strictly controlled via electronics between the cockpit and control surfaces as opposed to what Boeing does. Or is my memory off?


Fly by wire has been standard on new designs from both companies for almost 20 years (25 for Airbus). The biggest difference between the two companies in this area is that Boeing's best-sellers are really just updated versions of old designs (and therefore haven't got FBW systems) and that the software philosophy between the two is quite different.
 
2012-12-03 04:19:15 PM
Anybody know if we'll start seeing 787s make long domestic trips like NYC-LA or is it going to stay long-haul only?
 
2012-12-03 04:20:46 PM

Avonmore: Anybody know if we'll start seeing 787s make long domestic trips like NYC-LA or is it going to stay long-haul only?


I know United is already using it domestically.
 
2012-12-03 04:22:42 PM

costermonger: Solon Isonomia: Right, I know the generator is quite necessary on modern planes, but IIRC the Airbus is strictly controlled via electronics between the cockpit and control surfaces as opposed to what Boeing does. Or is my memory off?

Fly by wire has been standard on new designs from both companies for almost 20 years (25 for Airbus). The biggest difference between the two companies in this area is that Boeing's best-sellers are really just updated versions of old designs (and therefore haven't got FBW systems) and that the software philosophy between the two is quite different.


Ahh, gotcha. Eh, A320 or 737 doesn't matter too much anyway - just as long as it's not one of those Canadian regionals. It's like riding in a pencil.
 
2012-12-03 04:22:44 PM
Solon Isonomia:
What made me giggle is that the solution to regaining avionic control if both engines crap out is an automatic windmill generator or something so that the plane has sufficient electric power to operate the control surfaces. Didn't endear me to the robustness of the brand.

I dunno, the "ram air turbine" generates power from something a plane is guaranteed to have: airspeed. Pretty idiot proof.
 
2012-12-03 04:27:05 PM

HMS_Blinkin: Cup Check: Yay! Airbus thread! Summon Zeio!

[i297.photobucket.com image 300x238]

[i297.photobucket.com image 300x418]

I never really understood his shtick. Trolling about airplanes isn't going to get that many people riled up, because most of us don't give a fark, so it wouldn't make sense for him to just be trying to get bites. If you want to do that on Fark, just go over to the politics tab and start spewing right-wing talking points. On the other hand, if that guy actually had that much of a personal hatred for Airbus, then he really needed professional help.


Agreed, but it still made for one of the funniest threads I've ever been a part of on here.
 
2012-12-03 04:31:16 PM

Avonmore: Anybody know if we'll start seeing 787s make long domestic trips like NYC-LA or is it going to stay long-haul only?


ftfy
 
2012-12-03 04:31:42 PM

Solon Isonomia: just as long as it's not one of those Canadian regionals. It's like riding in a pencil.


They're fine as long as it's not a long flight. Longest I've ever been in one is just over an hour, and that's perfectly acceptable. Have a bunch of friends who fly them and the longest trips some of them have done are close to 4 hours. That's just uncool for something that narrow.

/Embraer Regional Jets are even worse.
 
2012-12-03 04:32:49 PM

whither_apophis: ftfy


Saw one from Ethiopian Airlines in Toronto last week.
 
2012-12-03 04:35:20 PM
i1125.photobucket.com
What the Airbus A380 may look like.

/This one is poised to execute a perfect one point landing.
 
2012-12-03 04:41:40 PM

Avonmore: Anybody know if we'll start seeing 787s make long domestic trips like NYC-LA or is it going to stay long-haul only?


They'll do domestic runs initially to familiarize crews and maintenance bases, and then be reassigned to international routes: https://hub.united.com/en-us/News/Company-Operations/Pages/united-787- dreamliner-domestic-routes.aspx

The 787 was designed for long distance, low density routes, but eventually you may see 787's on high density domestic routes that an airline might use a 767 for today.
 
2012-12-03 04:42:19 PM

costermonger: Solon Isonomia: just as long as it's not one of those Canadian regionals. It's like riding in a pencil.

They're fine as long as it's not a long flight. Longest I've ever been in one is just over an hour, and that's perfectly acceptable. Have a bunch of friends who fly them and the longest trips some of them have done are close to 4 hours. That's just uncool for something that narrow.

/Embraer Regional Jets are even worse.


Oh, no, I meant all of the Canadian manufactured jets, not just the CRJs. I did a Milwaukee to Philly flight once in a Embraer about 8-10 years ago - ugh, that sucked.
 
2012-12-03 04:45:32 PM

Mitt Romneys Tax Return: They'll do domestic runs initially to familiarize crews and maintenance bases, and then be reassigned to international routes:


Link
Sorry about the html fail. Now linkified.
 
2012-12-03 04:47:35 PM

Solon Isonomia: Oh, no, I meant all of the Canadian manufactured jets, not just the CRJs. I did a Milwaukee to Philly flight once in a Embraer about 8-10 years ago - ugh, that sucked.


Well, CRJs are pretty much it for Canadian built jets. There are business jets too, but no sane person would complain about traveling in one of them.
 
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