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The Galapagos Airport is Now Powered Entirely by Green Energy

How a tiny island chain became a world leader in wind and solar power.

image via (cc) flickr user seier

For the past several months, aviation aficionados and green-energy enthusiasts alike have been eagerly following the progress of the Solar Impulse “perpetual endurance” airplane as it attempts to circle the planet using nothing but energy provided by our sun. While that craft is, at present, a single, custom-built flyer, and not the sort of thing likely to replace an airline’s current fleet of jets any time soon, it does offer a tantalizing glimpse at a possible future for air travel—a future in which our skies fill with planes that are safe, efficient, and entirely ecologically friendly. Unfortunately, the Solar Impulse is currently grounded in Hawaii, following damage to its solar batteries. But while the Impulse may not be slated to return to the air until sometime in 2016, there’s been another major milestone in green aviation in the meantime. One that’s considerably more down to Earth.

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Intermission: Why You Should Fly Into LAX at Night

It's hard not to fall in love with L.A. after watching this gorgeous video shot from the cockpit of a plane landing in the city at night.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ac0bXkxM3E

Good evening, passengers, we are now making our final descent into a dizzyingly-clear Los Angeles at twilight. You're watching a video of the SADDE Six Arrival, one of the arrival patterns for LAX that swings down from the north. If you'd prefer a more authentic cockpit experience, try watching the 14-minute real-time version and listening to an air traffic control channel like this. If this is what pilots get to see at the end of every workday, they must be the happiest people in the world. Good night, and thanks for flying.

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