Solar-Powered Plane To Fly Around The World
This Article Originally Appeared On Wired
Now this is an event to get excited about. Two men are determined to fly the first completely solar-powered plane around the world.
If, one day, you find yourself driving an electric car that recharges its featherweight high-capacity lithium batteries with sunlight collected from super-efficient solar cells covering its carbon-composite body, you’ll have Solar Impulse 2 to thank. It’s a plane powered by nothing but sunlight, and this March, Bertrand Piccard and his copilot, engineer André Borschberg, will take it on a 12-leg, multiweek flight around the world. The point, Piccard says, isn’t to start selling solar-powered planes—he just wants to show what might be possible. “When the Apollo astronauts went to the moon, it wasn’t to launch tourism on the moon and open hotels and make money,” he says. “It was to inspire the world.”