The Solar Impulse is a Swiss creation by Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg. As you might guess, their creation is a solar-powered airplane. The plane has about 12,000 solar cells that cover the wings and charge the batteries. The batteries are able to power the plane throughout the night. Back in 2010, the plane flew for 26 hours and proved it could store enough energy to fly all night.
Since 2010, the Solar Impulse has traveled from Madrid Spain, to Rabat, Morocco, which was a 1,550 mile flight and took 20 hours. It took so long because the plan only flies at 40 mph. It’s a very lightweight plane with a very long wing (the 747 length) for collecting the solar energy and while it won’t replace current airplanes, it’s a step into the future of solar power.
On March 28th, 2012 Bertrand and Andre announced the cities they will visit on their upcoming trip across the United States. They plan to fly from San Francisco to New York. The planned route will take them through Phoenix, Arizona, then Dallas-Ft. Worth, and then depending on weather either Nashville, Tennessee, Atlanta, Georgia or St. Louis Missouri. If all goes well on this flight, the plan is to create an improved version of the plane to fly around the world in 2015.
One of the goals these men have is to inspire as many people as possible to dare, innovate and invent as a result of their project. Watch the videos below to learn more about their dream. It really is inspiring!
This video gives you an overview of the Solar Impulse project of Bertrand & Andre.
This video is the announcement regarding flying Solar Impulse across the United States. His speech also includes some very good points about success.
This video covers the highlights from their first long distance flight from Madrid to Rabat which took place in 2012.
You can also visit the Solar Impulse website to learn more about this amazing project.
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Image Credit(s): Youtube