Gallery: SOLAR IMPULSE Solar Powered Plane Takes Off!


Solar power just made aviation history, as two Swiss adventurers revealed a prototype for a solar-powered aircraft they hope will be the first to fly around the globe in 2011. The Solar Impulse prototype was just unveiled yesterday and is an amazing feat of design and engineering. Made from light-weight and super strong carbon fiber, and covered with a thin layer of high powered photovoltaics, the plane has a wingspace of 262ft from wing tip to wing tip (about the same width as the new A380 Super Jumbo Jet). However, while the metal Airbus A380 weighs a whopping 580 tonnes, the dainty carbon fiber Solar Impulse weighs just 1.5 tonnes – which seems almost kite-like compared the gigantic heavy planes of the past.

Read the rest of this entry »


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Solar-Powered Plane Emb... July 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    […] a solar-powered plane fly at night? We’ll know for certain in just a few short hours. Early this morning the […]

  2. Aircraft: Solar Impulse... November 7, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    […] For now, they’re planning to test-fly the prototype in 2009, with a smaller wingspan of 197 feet that flies for 36 hours at 27,000 feet. Will they make it? With $87.5 million backing up the project, who knows if they’ll actually fly all the way around the world, but they’ll probably have enough cash to at least mount an attempt. [Times UK, via Inhabitat] […]

  3. George November 6, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Brilliant. Great info to get my students THINKING.

  4. Solar Powered Plane &la... November 6, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    […] will be converted into energy. This energy will be used to power the electric motors of the plane. This plane would definitely be a green marvel, and the technology would be one great step towards […]

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home