A bird-like solar powered aircraft aims to break clean speed records

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Mert Erdemir
Falcon Solar, a futuristic solar powered aircraft.Courtesy of the designer László Németh.

Solar power is undoubtfully one of the most preferred renewable energy sources of the day. As the need for energy rises with the improving technology and the rising population, companies try to come up with the most efficient solutions that promise to meet the energy demand of the world. 

We have already seen such examples as a building covered with solar panels and solar-powered cars with solar panels on them. 

And now, László Németh, a designer at Lasky Design, has developed an aircraft concept that is solar-powered and fitted with solar panels on top of it. 

The aircraft dubbed Falcon Solar grabs the attention at first glance with its falcon-like appearance. "The design is inspired by the bodies of birds of prey. Nature has long provided engineers and designers with good inspiration. It is important to understand and maintain a balance with nature," told  László Németh in an interview with IE.

"Today we can fly above the speed of sound, but at what environmental cost? At what energy cost? Birds are much more efficient. Might we be able to extend the efficiency we learned from the bird to a possibly higher speed? As a designer, I can say that these are the questions that inspire us when we design and when we draw ideas from nature."

With the aim of safety, efficiency, and stability

A bird-like solar powered aircraft aims to break clean speed records

The concept is designed as a passenger plane and its purpose is to make air transportation more sustainable and efficient.

The solar panels on the top surface of the plane may raise the question of "How will it fly in overcast weather or at the night? "It’s the jetstream (strong winds) and darkness at night that cause problems for contemporary solar-powered aircraft. Not to mention the extreme cold, which batteries don’t like," says Németh and adds that flying in higher altitudes may help overcome these problems. "Solar-powered aircraft typically fly at higher altitudes, where propeller propulsion is more likely to provide sufficient efficiency."

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A bird-like solar powered aircraft aims to break clean speed records

Németh defines his motivation as bringing a new perspective to solar sustainable aviation. But how can that be achieved? Well, the key factor is apparently sustainability and this concept completely delivers it with its solar panels. "I believe that modern technology is sufficiently advanced to allow us to fly on solar power. It is time for the world to do that," he further added. 

Speaking of sustainability, what can be changed to achieve higher energy efficiency in aviation? Falcon Solar achieves it with a different approach to design. With its eye-catching look that is similar to a falcon and the solar panels placed on top of the aircraft, the concept can deliver radically new innovative solutions to the problems related to sustainability. 

A bird-like solar powered aircraft aims to break clean speed records

Although it is just a concept, for now, this daring and innovative design can inspire the aviation sector and lead to the development of new and more energy-efficient aircraft models. We live in a time that almost everything is going green. So, why not solar power be the future of aviation?

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