Perpetual Solar Flight


Summer 2010 Issue

Aicraft Powerd by solar energy over night.

Perpetual Solar Flight - Aicraft Powerd by solar energy over night.

On April 7, 2010 the Solar Impulse HB-SIA, a completely carbon fiber aircraft with a 208- foot wingspan and weighing 3,520 pounds, completed its first successful flight. The aircraft is powered by 12,000 solar cells on its wings that provide renewable energy to four electric motors as well as lithium-polymer batteries, which should allow the aircraft to fly at night. After eight more test flights, the craft is now ready for a new and more difficult test phase: the overnight flight. Andre Borschberg, CEO and co-founder of Solar Impulse states that “to fly day and night with a solar aircraft is a human and technological challenge that has never been met so far…that will then permit us to fly several successive cycles and come close to perpetual flight.” By successfully demonstrating the ability to power an aircraft overnight on solar energy, the company has shown the world the potential of renewable energy as well as the technologies that will eventually allow us to eliminate our dependence on oil.

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This article appeared in the Summer 2010 ISSUE,

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