Solar-Powered Plane Ready for First Test Flight

November 18, 2008

(ChattahBox) — A 1500 kilogram solar plane dubbed “Solar Impulse” will complete its first test flight next April. It’s hard enough to construct viable solar-powered vehicles, but airplanes?  The plane’s solar system works by using 12,000 photovoltaic cells, each containing 130 micron monocrystalline silicon. Solar Impulse’s solar cells are placed on the upper surface of its wings, while the underside is wrapped in film.  Solar Impulse can fly in the dark by using a 400 kilogram deep cycle battery bank. Which is a good thing because the plane, which has a 61 meter wingspan, will attempt to travel around the world in May 2011. It will go into commercial production the same year.

Photo Credit: Solar Impulse


One Response to “Solar-Powered Plane Ready for First Test Flight”

  1. Total Solar Energy on November 18th, 2008 11:21 pm

    cool stuff. i don’t think you’d catch me up in it though

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