‘Next stop Hawaii’ for Solar Impulse 2

31 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Everything You Need To Know About Solar Impulse’s Most Challenging Flight To DateGoogle’s solar powered Internet drone may have just tanked in a desert, but other sun-powered fliers are still going strong, including the Solar Impulse plane, which has just taken off on a nearly 5,000 mile journey across the Pacific, from Nanjing, China, to Hawaii. The revolutionary Solar Impulse 2 aircraft took off early Sunday for a six-day, six-night flight over the Pacific Ocean, the most ambitious leg of its quest to circumnavigate the globe powered only by the sun.

Five days, five nights, and no breaks—the longest leg of Solar Impulse’s journey around the world is being called the “moment of truth” for one of the most promising solar planes. To stay alert in the plane’s cramped cockpit as he attempts the first ocean-crossing of an ambitious round-the-world flight, Piccard plans to take short naps and use self-hypnosis.

Mr Borschberg and another Swiss pilot, Bertrand Piccard, have been taking turns flying the single-seater Swiss plane during a five-month journey to promote renewable energy use. Pilot Andre Borschberg, 62, left the ground in Nanjing, in eastern China, heading for the US island of Hawaii, at about 2:40am (1840 GMT), after extended delays awaiting a suitable weather window over safety concerns.

The real endurance test here doesn’t fall on the technology though, but rather, on Andre Borschberg, the man who will be piloting the craft throughout its 130-hour nonstop flight. He said that if successful, the flight to Hawaii will demonstrate the credibility of the vision he and Mr Piccard embraced 16 years ago “to change our mindset regarding the enormous potential of clean technologies and renewable energies”. According to CNN, Borschberg will spend the entire trip inside the plane’s 3.8 square meter cockpit, strapped to a seat that doubles as a bed, exercise machine and toilet. Piccard will fly the zero-fuel aircraft from China’s Nanjing Lukou International Airport to Hawaii’s Kalaeloa Airport, a distance of about 4,413 nautical miles (8,172 kilometers). The 8,500 kilometre (5,270 mile) flight could set a record for duration by a single pilot, organisers said. “We have a good weather window, which means we have a stable corridor to reach Hawaii,” he said, shortly before climbing into the cockpit to test the instruments.

During the flight, Piccard will be able to take 20-minute naps about 10 to 12 times per day while the plane is on autopilot, which will maintain its altitude and direction. The rest of the time, he plans to use hypnosis and mindfulness techniques to keep him focused. [Solar Impulse 2: Photos of the Historic Round-the-World Flight] Normally, Piccard said, one’s center of awareness is outside of one’s self, focused on the things one sees, hears, smells and feels on one’s skin. Solar Impulse will be packed with enough food, water, and sports drinks to meet Borschberg’s nutritional needs for a week, in case weather problems mean it has to stay in the air longer than expected. No ship will trail the plane as it is far too fast for a maritime vessel to keep up with, even though its maximum speed of 140 kilometres (87 miles) an hour is much slower than conventional jet aircraft. By contrast, “When you get into self-hypnosis, you turn your look from the outside to the inside,” Piccard told Live Science. “You don’t focus anymore on what happens outside, you focus only on the inside” — on one’s body, thoughts and emotions, he said.

Solar Impulse has been stuck in China since March, when a planned overnight pit stop in Chongqing turned into three weeks on the ground there before it was able to fly on to Nanjing, the staging post for the mission’s most challenging flight. Planners had identified airports in Japan should the plane need to make a stop because of technical problems, but the open ocean offered no such possibility, he said. In this state, he said, “I’m completely relaxed — the body is sleeping, but the mind is alert, and can still check instruments, talk to mission control and fly the plane.” In the event of an emergency, such as if turbulence destabilizes the plane, the sleeves of Piccard’s suit will vibrate to alert him to the problem. In advance of the Pacific flight, the crew stripped off two side wheels and internal brakes from the propellers to make the fragile-looking craft — already just 2.3 tonnes, the weight of a large SUV — as light as possible. He uses techniques from yoga, including meditation and postures that keep his blood flowing and relax his muscles, according to Solar Impulse officials.

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UPDATE 1-Western Refining to buy rest of Northern Tier

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Upgrades Northern Tier Energy LP (NTI) to “Neutral”.

Under the deal, Northern Tier unit holders would receive $15 a unit in cash and 0.2986 Western Refining share for each common unit held, or roughly $26.21 a unit based on Monday’s close. EL PASO, Texas and TEMPE, Ariz., Dec. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE:WNR) and Northern Tier Energy LP (NYSE:NTI) today jointly announced that they have entered into a merger agreement whereby Western will acquire all of NTI’s outstanding common units not already owned by Western. Northern Tier Chief Executive Dave Lamp in prepared remarks Monday said that the MLP model “has not been rewarded by the equity market, as evidenced by the historical disconnect between NTI’s high yield and low unit price.” “With a simplified corporate structure and diverse geographic base, the new Western will be well positioned to unlock additional value for shareholders,” Mr. As an alternative to the cash and stock consideration, each NTI unitholder may elect to receive, per NTI unit, either $26.06 in cash or 0.7036 of a share of WNR.

Assuming completion of the proposed transaction, NTI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of WNR and NTI common units will cease to be publicly traded. Jeff Stevens, President and CEO of WNR said, “The merger of Western and NTI will result in the combined entity owning three of the most profitable independent refineries on a gross margin per barrel basis, with direct pipeline access to advantaged crude oil combined with an integrated retail and wholesale distribution network. The terms of the merger agreement were approved by the WNR Board of Directors and the Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of NTI’s general partner, which negotiated the terms on behalf of NTI. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock.

The call and slide presentation can be accessed on the Investor Relations section of Western’s website, www.wnr.com, and on the Investor Relations section of Northern Tier’s website at www.northerntier.com. The Company has refining, retail and logistics operations that serve the Petroleum Administration for Defense District II (PADD II) region of the United States. Goldman Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor to Western, and Vinson & Elkins, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Richards Layton & Finger acted as legal counsel to Western. This press release includes “forward-looking statements” by Western (which are protected as forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) and by NTI.

The Company’s retail segment operated 165 convenience stores under the SuperAmerica brand and also supported 89 franchised convenience stores, which are also operated under the SuperAmerica brand. These statements are subject to the risk that the merger is not consummated at all, including due to the inability of Western or NTI to obtain all approvals necessary or the failure of other closing conditions, as well as to the general risks inherent in Western’s and NTI’s businesses and the merged company’s ability to compete in a highly competitive industry.

If you are reading this article on another website, that means this article was illegally copied and re-published to this website in violation of U.S. and International copyright law. In addition, Western’s and Northern Tier’s business and operations involve numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Western’s and NTI’s control, which could materially affect their respective financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and those of the merged company.

The forward-looking statements are only as of the date made, and neither Western nor NTI undertake any obligation to (and each expressly disclaims any obligation to) update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date such statements were made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation is unlawful. Any such offer will be made only by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, pursuant to a registration statement filed with the SEC. The retail segment includes retail service stations, convenience stores, and unmanned fleet fueling locations in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Beyersdorfer (602) 286-1530 Michelle Clemente (602) 286-1533 Northern Tier Investor and Analyst Contact: Paul Anderson (651) 458-6494 Alpha IR Group (651) 769-6700 nti@alpha-ir.com Media Contact: Gary Hanson (602) 286-1777

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