Solar powered flight
If you thought there was something solar powered technology couldn’t do, perhaps the next sentence might change your mind. The sun just carried an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean.
Early Thursday morning, Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard successfully landed the Solar Impulse 2 in Spain. The four-day journey began in New York. The Solar Impulse plane is powered by 17,000 solar cells, emits no pollution and consumes no fuel.
This flight was the latest leg in a round-the-world journey set to end in Abu Dhabi, and is particularly symbolic “because all the means of transportation have always tried to cross the Atlantic.”
With seating room for one, the Solar Impulse has a larger wingspan than a Boeing 747 but is lighter than a car. So it isn’t going to start transporting the eco-concious any time soon. Besides, sitting upright in an unheated, unpressurised cabin for four days sounds a tad worse than flying coach.
But the goal of the epic journey, Piccard added, “is not to change aviation, but to inspire people to use renewable technologies.”
Well, that, and taking the most impressive selfie we’ve seen in a while…
While we’re not in the travel business, nor aviation, SkySolar are hugely proud of Bertrand and his latest feat. Using solar energy to break new ground and change perceptions needs more people like Bertrand.