Monday, April 28, 2008

Solar Aircraft

This article is to make you aware of the latest technology and innovation going on in the aviation industry.

For environment-friendly persons, its a great news that solar powered aircrafts are going to become a reality in just some years. These days aircrafts uses fuel that releases large amount of hazardous gases that is threat for nature.

Coming from a family of explorers, Piccard made history in March 1999 with a nonstop, around-the-world flight in a hot-air balloon. Now Piccard has set his sights on another ambitious adventure: an around-the-world flight in a solar-powered airplane, the Solar Impulse.

He imagined an aircraft that would take off and climb under its own power, using only energy derived from the sun. At night, the aircraft would remain airborne using battery power.

The proposed aircraft will have to harvest as much solar radiation as possible, store it in extremely high-density, low-weight batteries, convert the energy to propulsive force with superb efficiency, and lose as little as possible in aerodynamic drag. When all the components of the plane are integrated, the result will be an aircraft engineered to razor-thin tolerances. Even the pilot's clothing will be made of special lightweight material.
Piccard hopes his solar plane will be completely self-sustaining and capable of flying continuously, even at night, at altitudes up to 32,800 feet (10,000 meters). "It's a huge project," Piccard conceded. "The plane will have an 80-meter (262-foot) wingspan, which is larger than any commercial aircraft."

Piccard estimates that enough power can be generated to sustain a flight of roughly 60 miles an hour (97 kilometers an hour). The batteries used to fly the plane at night must be incredibly dense, capable of storing 200 watts per kilogram (2.2 pounds).

If the first flight is successful, the 1.5-tonne plane will make a 36-hour flight through the night in 2009, piloted by round-the-world ballooning pioneer Bertrand Piccard.

While pilot-less planes have already accomplished the feat, it is far more difficult with the added size and weight of a pilot on board.

One of the big challenges for the solar flight is how to store enough energy in batteries from its array of solar panels to keep the ultra-lightweight aircraft flying in darkness.
Another issue is how to stretch carbon sheet just a few tenths of millimetres thick over lengths of up to 20m.

The final version of the aircraft is expected to have 250 square metres of solar panels stretched across an almost 80m wingspan, similar in width to the new A380 Airbus superjumbo that made its maiden flight to Australia last month.
However, while the Airbus A380 weighs 580 tonnes, the Solar Impulse will be a mere 2 tonnes.
The US$101 million project aims to emulate the achievements of aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, who in 1927 made the world's first solo, non-stop transatlantic flight, but with a solar-powered twist.

The Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL) has signed on as the project's official scientific advisor.

The reduced-size model, which has a 61m wingspan, is now being built in northern Switzerland to test the technology involved in the full-size Solar Impulse aircraft.

The project's goals include a transatlantic crossing in 2011 before what would be a historic, fuel-less circumnavigation of the globe.
About 150 specialists from six countries are involved in designing Solar Impulse, which is expected to break new ground with its aerodynamics, control systems, energy efficiency, materials and structure.

Hope, this will put an ignition to make other innovations for the effective use of solar-energy utilization and make our Earth less polluted.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Entrepreneurship, another word that comes into mind is Business. The word 'Busi-ness' clearly states itself as 'Busyness'. To become successful in business, really you have to be busy in making your business plans, then start implementing and executing them and then to hold that position and to nourish it further and to be ahead than competitors.

The process of starting a business, building and nurturing it is very creative.

Entrepreneurship is a process that involves identifying and reducing four major types of risks over time: people, technology, market, and financial. This is accomplished by the right combination of vision, strategy and execution. Although a compelling vision and a set of strategies are important, it is often execution that differentiates great companies from good ones.

The word entrepreneur originates from the French word, entreprendre, which means ‘to undertake.’ In a business context, it means to start a business.

An entrepreneur is a person who has possession over a new enterprise and assumes full accountability for the inherent risks and the outcome. Entrepreneurs develop new goods or processes that the market demands and are not currently being supplied.

Entrepreneurs have many of the same character traits as leaders.

Entrepreneurship is the practice of starting new organizations or revitalizing mature organizations, particularly new businesses generally in response to identified opportunities. You start your own business when you have something to sell that you thought others would want to buy.

Whether you've been entrepreneurs for years or are just starting out, you own your businesses for many reasons other than money. It's as simple as RESPECT: regard, esteem, solvency, passion, employment, connection and time.

To be a successful entrepreneur, there are lots of qualities that need to be there in an individual, like:

  • You have to be a self-starter.
  • Business owners need to develop working relationships with a variety of people.
  • Business owners are required to make decisions constantly, often quickly, under pressure, and independently.
  • You have to balance your family life. The strain of an unsupportive spouse may be hard to balance against the demands of starting a business. You may have to adjust to a lower standard of living or put family assets at risk.

Most successful entrepreneurs share certain personal attributes, including: creativity, dedication, determination, flexibility, leadership, passion, self-confidence, and ‘smarts.’

"Smarts" is an American term that describes common sense joined with knowledge or experience in a related business or endeavor. The former gives a person good instinct, the latter, expertise. Many people have smarts they don't recognize. A person who successfully keeps a household on a budget has organizational and financial skills. Employment, education, and life experiences all contribute to smarts.

For the right person, the advantages of business ownership far outweigh the risks.

  • You get to be your own boss.
  • Hard work and long hours directly benefit you, rather than increasing profits for someone.
  • Earning and growth potential are far less limited.
  • A new venture is exciting.
  • Running a business will provide endless variety, challenge and opportunities to learn.
  • The independence to do what you wanted to do, and to do it in a way where your principles and values would not be compromised. Where your potential would not be capped by the potential of a boss.

One of the strength of a start-up is that the people involved - the entrepreneur, any partners, advisers, employees, or even family members. They have a passionate, almost compulsive, desire to succeed. This makes them work harder and better.

Advantages of Entrepreneurship

Every successful entrepreneur brings about benefits not only for himself/ herself but for the region or country as a whole. The benefits that can be derived from entrepreneurial activities are as follows:

  • Enormous personal financial gain
  • Self-employment, offering more job satisfaction and flexibility of the work force
  • Employment for others, often in better jobs
  • Development of more industries, especially in rural areas or regions disadvantaged by economic changes, for example due to globalisation effects
  • Encouragement of the processing of local materials into finished goods for domestic consumption as well as for export
  • Income generation and increased economic growth
  • Healthy competition thus encourages higher quality products
  • More goods and services available
  • Promotion of the use of modern technology in small-scale manufacturing to enhance higher productivity
  • Encouragement of more researches/ studies and development of modern machines and equipment for domestic consumption
  • Freedom from the dependency on the jobs offered by others

But it is important to ask: Why would a consumer choose to buy goods or services from this new firm?

One important factor is the uniqueness of the idea. By making a venture stand out from its competitors, uniqueness can help facilitate the entry of a new product or service into the market. It is also very important to make a proper business plan. It provides a compass for negotiating the unforeseeable challenges ahead, rather than a definitive roadmap to success.

"The business plan process helps the entrepreneur shape his/her original vision into a better opportunity by raising critical questions, researching answers for those questions, and then answering them."

Basic negotiation, influence and persuasion skills are critical. Successful entrepreneurs build lasting personal relationships based upon trust.

This is the age of professional management, and the professional managers appear to be doing well in big and Fortune 500s corporations. Unlike the entrepreneurs, they do not have to risk their own money to reach the top. By investing only time and effort, a professional can become the master of a big corporation with thousands of employees and shareholders, billions of dollars in assets, and the power to stimulate or undermine the economies of cities, states and entire nations. Professionals head almost all of the largest companies.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Smart use of Credit Card

Holding a credit card or two is not a bad thing. Indeed it is quite useful
sometimes and beneficial especially in case of emergencies when you
don’t have that much money in your account. But always pay-off the
money (credit card bill) as soon as you get it. Otherwise you may see
it as a burden with heavy rate of interest.

But if you will use it effectively and smartly then you may find it very
useful and helpful. These days most of the banks are offering free
life-time cards with no annual fees and any other fees except interest
charges or late payment fee and by that only these banks are earning.
And these charges alone can make your life miserable. So always pay-off
your complete monthly bill on time to avoid these charges and use these
privileged services.

Credit cards are supposed to serve you, not the other way around.

For this what you have to do is to spend some time to understand the
terms of your card in order to be a smarter user of credit card. Also
carefully read each month's statement, as companies certainly do
make mistakes. Also, you need to make sure that no unapproved
charges have been made. In case you find something wrong in the
statement, immediately call the customer care and ask for the reason.
If you got satisfied, its good otherwise simply ask them or request them
to revert back those charges in the current bill only and make the
payment for the verified amount only.

These days credit cards have become necessity if you want to book
any flight ticket online, as they accept only credit cards. So its must
for you to have a credit card to enjoy the benefits of some online services.
Also there are some sites which offer some discount on online bookings
and some deals on other products. But do it wisely and don’t get much
lured by these offers as it isn't a gateway to free money and you will have
to repay it eventually.

It is very important to know the difference between your needs and your
wants. “Do I really need this?” is an important question to ask before you
dash to the checkout counter.

Also keep in mind to protect your card and keep it secure and just don’t
it anywhere in the house and try to memorize the pin numbers and
CVV number. Also a thief doesn’t need your actual card to make
unauthorized purchases on your account. All he needs is your account
number and your card’s expiration date. That’s why it’s important to take
all receipts and carbons home with you, especially from places like
automated teller machines (ATMs), supermarkets.

Those who pay up the entire amount in full within the interest-free time
period are called transactors. Transactors only transact on the credit
card and do not utilize it as credit instrument. So now the question
arises from where bank gets the money?
When a person uses credit card to shop or pay hotel bills, the companies
charge a discount fee. For example, if you spend Rs 100, the credit card
companies pay some less amount to the merchant where you have
shopped and charge 0.5 to 1% as fee from the merchant. The other way
the companies make profits is from the interest charged from customers
who don't give back the credit within the specified due date or revolve
credit or use credit card as an overdraft. So the merchant discount fee
and income from interest are the two main income sources for the
credit card companies.

Also there are some other features of credit cards like ‘balance transfer’.
The balance transfer carries very low interest rate for three to six months.
So if you have the ability to pay in 3-6 months, opt for balance transfer.
But if you have to repay over a long period of time like 12, 24 or
36 months, it is better to raise a personal loan. But balance transfer is
useful only if you hold more than one credit card. You can pay-off the bill
of one card using another card.

Cash advance feature on credit cards is supposed to be used only in
emergencies. It is not like withdrawing money from ATM or your account.
You don't have any interest free period on withdrawal of cash like in case
of purchases. Interest meter starts from the first day.

So you must be aware of different finance charges that can include
service fees, transaction fees, or premiums paid for optional services
such as credit card insurance or life insurance.

If you will understand the use of credit card and how to use it properly
then you can even save some money or get it increased in your savings
account in the form of interest. Just what you have to do is to be aware
of your paying capacity before you make any transaction. And you may
be happy always.