Solar-Powered Night Flight
Solar-Powered Night Flight
Solar Impulse

To boldly demonstrate the enormous advances in batteries and efficient aircraft, the world's first "Solar Aircraft" is planned to fly around the globe nonstop - even through the dark of night.

The Solar Impulse is the world's first solar-powered aircraft, and it is planned to circle the globe non stop about 2012. Created by Andre Borschberg of Switzerland, the plane's wings span 208 feet, the size of an Airbus, while it's weight is about 3,000 pounds, comparable to a small car. It has 11,629 photovoltaic cells that store energy in 400 kilograms of batteries, which in turn power electric engines. The plane was tested in July of 2010 to demonstrate it's ability to fly though the night. Bertrand Piccard, the company's president, said "Flying by night is a stunning manifestation of the potential that clean technologies offer."

Source: Gizmag Emerging Technologies Magazine (July 10, 2010)