Bertrand Picard and his Solar Impulse aircraft are now in Nanjing, China preparing for the long leg across the Pacific Ocean http://www.solarimpulse.com/ . While the Solar impulse mission of flying around the world is quite an undertaking and a costly operation it appears that solar aviation is a burgeoning reality. If you want to access your own solar aircraft you can purchase a Sunseeker http://www.solar-flight.com/home/. If you are interested in seeing the cockpit (it is a weird one) of the Solar Impulse click on http://bit.ly/1EQvNuz.
Aircraft designer Oscar Vinals has a vision for an 800 passenger semi-solar air machine that he calls “Progress Eagle.” (http://dailym.ai/1EFTPpW) This futuristic massive passenger airplane will be hydrogen and solar powered. The airframe design is equally futuristic. It may be the sexiest airplane since the Boeing 727. It appears that biofuels are not going to be a viable alternative to fossil fuels and as fossil fuels become scarcer and more expensive a new source of energy for air travel will be needed.
Also, as more people learn of the potentially catastrophic results intensified climate change created by carbon dioxide emissions there will be vociferous protests against fossil fuel powered airplanes. While there are many deniers global warming is validated by the scientists. I like the scientists. From the Wright Brothers to the contemporary wizards working on the advancement of solar powered flight, scientific inquiry has spearheaded the enhancement of every aspect of aviation. Engine shutdowns and feathering props will soon be antiquated concepts as they become deposited in the dustbin of aviation history.