As the Solar Impulse electric plane nears the end of its fraught, £73 million trans-America flight, project leader Bertand Piccard has some wise words for starry-eyed techno optimists:
“What we are doing with the Solar Impulse is not for the goal of making a revolution in air transport,” said Piccard. “But the Solar Impulse does have a goal of having a revolution in the mindset of the people.”
Yes, the revolutionary realisation that, without the cheap liquid fuels of the past 100 years, most future options for long distance travel will be slow and expensive. And some, like mass aviation, will be impossible. Enjoy it while it lasts.