Cameron Scott

Sun-Powered Solar Impulse Plane Completes First Night Flight

by , 07/08/10

bertrand piccard, andre borschberg, solar impulse, solar airplane, greener transportation, air travel, solar power

The Solar Impulse airplane landed in Switzerland this morning after a 26-hour flight that proved that a solar-powered airplane can fly in darkness. The propeller plane has nearly 12,000 solar cells on its 207-foot lightweight carbon-fiber wings. The cells stored enough energy between takeoff at 7 a.m. yesterday and nightfall last night to get pilot André Borschberg through the night at a maximum altitude of 28,000 feet.

solar impulse, solar plane, solar air travel, solar power, greener transportation, air travel, andre borschberg, bertrand piccard

The next step for the Solar Impulse project will be a trans-Atlantic flight using a new prototype plane. Commercial solar flight, sadly, remains a long way off: the Solar Impulse travels at 43 miles per hour and carries just the pilot. But you’ve got to start somewhere, and this team is making the kind of trail-blazing progress that will show others that solar flight — in the dark! — can be done.

+ Solar Impulse

Via Daily Mail

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3 Comments

  1. Boeing's Solar Spy Plan... September 20, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    [...] building for the DOD will be able to fly unmanned for five years straight. Not unlike the Solar Impulse, Boeing’s SolarEagle will feature hyper-efficient electric motors and propellers and long [...]

  2. Zephyr to Complete Long... July 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    [...] world records are being broken by a waify aircraft called the Zephyr. We recently reported on the Solar Impulse flying the first 24-hour flight and proving that a sun-powered plane can fly at night, but the [...]

  3. Airbus Unveils Fuel-Eff... July 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    [...] soon as 2030, we might be flying in a new, more efficient aircraft with long, curled wings, a U-shaped tail, and a lightweight body — if manufacturer Airbus develops the “fantasy [...]

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