The Solar Impulse
With it’s 72 metre wingspan covered in 17,248 solar cells, the Solar Impulse 2 is the first solar powered plane to take up the challenge to fly around the world. This revolutionary airplane will have to do what no one has ever done before: fly through 5 consecutive days and nights without using any fuel, so as to cross oceans from one continent to the next.
This will be the world’s longest solo flight in history. Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg is attempting to circumnavigate the Earth in a multi-stage flight using the Solar Impulse.
Weighing a little bit more than a car, the Solar Impulse has a top speed of about 87mph, faster than a ship but much slower than traditional aircraft.
“Imagine energy reserves increasing during flight! To make this dream a reality, we had to make maximum use of every single watt supplied by the sun, and store it in our batteries. We tracked down every possible source of energy efficiency. Today, Solar Impulse is the first solar airplane flying through night and day, the first aircraft to come close to perpetual flight” – André Borschberg, the brainchild behind the Solar Impulse.
Watch the Solar Impulse take flight