Daily VideoApril 14, 2014
Swiss aviators unveil solar-powered airplane
After 12 years of research and testing, two Swiss aviators recently unveiled the Solar Impulse-2, a huge airplane that runs on solar-power.
It’s wingspan is wider than a Boeing 747, often referred to as the Jumbo Jet, but weighs no more than a large car. The plane is covered with more than 17,000 solar cells.
The designers and pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg have made several long trips on a previous version of the plane– including a flight across the Mediterranean — from Switzerland to Morocco. They say the new plane is even better.
“We have the best electrical motors, the best batteries, the lightest possible structure, the most efficient consuming electricity products in the airplane cockpit,” said Piccard.
Next year, the two plan to fly the plane around the world; a 500 hour journey over the world’s vast oceans, half of it at night … in the dark. However, they expect that the solar cells can harness enough energy from the sun to keep the plane on course.
Warm up questions
- How many gallons of gas do you think it takes to fly a plane for 10 hours?
- What sources of energy do we use? Where do they come from?
- How does solar energy compare to other sources of energy in terms of its cost to the environment?
- Do you think that all planes will fly on solar power in the near future? Is that realistic?
Imagine that you are the head of a plane manufacturing company. Weigh the risks and benefits of a solar-powered plane compared to a traditional gas-powered plane. Would you choose to put money into research and development (R&D) for solar powered planes or would you continue to keep your money invested in making the same gas-powered planes.
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Students are up on their current events. Have you discussed the allegations of sexual harassment by prominent politicians with them? Use this NewsHour lesson to help your class have a sensitive, thoughtful and nonpartisan discussion. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In this PBS lesson, teachers use media literacy with their students to discuss New York City’s deadliest terror attack since 9/11. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Today’s Daily News Story discusses sexual harassment in the workplace as it pertains to revelations surrounding Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In this NewsHour Extra lesson, students learn about the controversy surrounding a condolence call made by President Trump to a Gold Star widow, Myeshia Johnson. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld
On Nov. 7, 2017, two governors’ races will take place in New Jersey and Virginia and a special election for U.S. House of Representatives will be held in Utah. A U.S. Senate race will take place in Alabama on Dec. 12, 2017. Seven special elections for Congress will have taken place in 2017. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld