As always, we take our good news about aviation, the aerospace industry, and the general fun of flying wherever we can find it. This is in part an attempt to offset the distinctly non-fun aspects of flying that now make the very term "airline travel" an occasion for despair. (Links to past good-news-in-the-sky items when "categories" function is restored, which will be .... any day now, I am told.) Here is the recent harvest:
1) The Eclipse airplane company, whose ups and downs are described here, is back in business, sort of. The original firm had a spectacular rise in the early 2000s and equally spectacular financial collapse last year. The innovative (if anything, too ambitiously innovative) very small jets it produced probably still have a future. That at least is the bet of the new Eclipse Aerospace company that took over the assets last year. Its latest activities, including maintenance of the existing fleet of several hundred EA500 jets, are described here.
2) Yesterday the all-solar-powered, zero-emissions Solar Impulse airplane completed its first full-fledged test flight, in Switzerland. It stayed aloft for an hour and climbed to nearly 4,000 feet. Several months ago I mentioned its tentative, barely-off-the-runway first trial run. (Solar Impulse, AP photo via FastCompany:)