A Future With Solar Powered Air Transportation Closer Thanks to Solar Impulse

Solar Powered Air Transportation Not Far From Reality.
Solar Powered Air Transportation Not Far From Reality.

Solar Powered Air Transportation Not Far From Reality.

On December 17th, 1903, two American brothers, Orville and Wilbur invented and built, the world’s first successful airplane and made the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Flying alone in a solar powered airplane from Solar Impulse

Flying alone in a solar powered airplane from Solar Impulse

One hundred and twelve years later two french entrepreneurs and explorer began a journey to fly a fixed wing airplane around the world using electric drive systems powered entirely by solar energy.

Flying over the Golden Gate Bridge in a solar powered airplane

Flying over the Golden Gate Bridge in a solar powered airplane

2015 was an exciting year for clean energy, as the Solar Impulse team proved that it is possible to improve life on earth by removing our dependence on fossil fuels. It is this kind of leadership and risk taking that will excite the world to move quickly away from oil, coal and gas.

Flying over the Mountains in a solar powered airplane

Flying over the Mountains in a solar powered airplane

The team of Bertrand Piccard & André Borschberg will continue with the adventure in April of 2016.

Flying into the setting sun on a solar powered airplane

Flying into the setting sun on a solar powered airplane

Timeline of the Solar Impulse Solar Airplane Project. ( from Wikipedia)
2003: Feasibility study at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
2004–2005: Development of the concept
2006: Simulation of long-haul flights
2006–09: Construction of first prototype (HB-SIA; Solar Impulse 1)
2009: First flight of Solar Impulse 1
2009–11: Manned test flights
2011–12: Further test flights through Europe and North Africa
2011–13: Construction of second prototype (HB-SIB; Solar Impulse 2)
2013: Continental flight across the US by Solar Impulse 1 (Mission Across America)
2014: First flight of Solar Impulse 2
2015–2016: Circumnavigation of the Earth by Solar Impulse 2, conducted in twelve stages over two years

Flying over the desert in a solar powered airplane

Flying over the desert in a solar powered airplane

This has to be one of the coolest advancements in air transportation since what happened at Kitty Hawk.

About Gordon Smith
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.

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