A solar powered airplane swoops in
Simon Telford / 5 years ago
You may be wondering, can an aircraft with a wingspan of over 200 feet even fly? Of course it can, especially when the wings are covered in 12,000 solar cells. These Cells draw light energy from the sun and convert it into electrical energy allowing the aircraft to function. This Swiss aircraft weighs over 3,527 lbs, but still managed to fly 337 miles on Solar power.
Now as you may imagine, being solar powered it is not one of the fastest things in the world and compared to the average airbus which averages about 950KM/H whereas the Solar impulse averages 50KM/H. The flight took a mere 12 hours and 59 minutes, so 13 hours. Yes, the journey would have been quicker in a car which averages 64KM/H, but lets not forget Solar power is still fairly new technology and these are the first baby steps to becoming a lot more dependant on solar power as a whole.
Obviously it will be a long time before solar energy is used to power all aircrafts, but these are vital steps in the right direction.