Solar Plane in Flight!

Solar power — By Stephanie on July 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm
15534 2 Switzerland Solar Adventure.sff 300 Solar Plane in Flight!

All systems go for the 24-hour flight of the Solar Impulse (AP photo)

We’ve enthusiastically shared the story about the experimental solar plane, the Solar Impulse, conceived by world-renowned balloonist Betrand Piccard.  Well, now we’re excited to tell you that the Solar Impulse took off hours ago from Geneva, Switzerland, on a 24-hour journey.

If the flight is successful, the Solar Impulse team and its supporters believe that it will be an excellent example of the value and practicality of solar energy.

According to Piccard:

“The goal of the project is to have a solar-powered plane flying day and night without fuel.  This flight is crucial for the credibility of the project.”

The Solar Impulse has been in flight before (at least 10 times since the project began), but the 24-hour journey is an epic one now!  Four small motors on the experimental plane are powered by 12,000 solar panels spread across its 207-foot wingspan.  Even though the flight will not be continuously in daylight, batteries should be able to store enough solar energy to power through the night.

A ground control team will monitor the solar plane on the Solar Impulse team’s website.

Here’s to a successful flight and the future of solar-powered travel!

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1 Comment

  1. We are on the verge of making oil obsolete for transportation. Oil is already obsolete for ground vehicles. We have already proven that cars, trucks and trains can run on electricity alone. This solar powered plane is beginning to prove that we can also run planes on electricity. The only reason we are still using vast quantities of oil is because big oil has made enormous efforts to destroy the electric car industry.

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