A solar powered plane is making its way around the world. The lightweight plane is called Solar Impulse 2, it has a wingspan wider than a 747. The carbon fiber and polymer impregnated paper plane incorporates high performance energy management software, advanced lithium-ion batteries powered by 17,000 high efficiency solar cells.
The two rotating pilots hope to fly the plane into the record books. The flight began in Abu Dhabi on March 9 and is expected to conclude its global voyage in July of this year. The first leg of the journey took the plane to Muscat, Oman and then on to India on March 10.
The plane’s maximum altitude is 28,000 feet and it can travel about 11 hours without sunlight. This constitutes a major challenge for the two ocean crossings which will take as long as five days and nights.
The two pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, are pioneers, risking their lives to make the point that aviation is possible without the use of fossil fuels.
Click here to track the plane’s progress.