Our Nerdy Team prepared for you a theme about alternative energy today. What are Solar Impulse in first place?
They are single-seat monoplanes powered by photovoltaic cells. They are capable of taking off under their own power. The prototype, known as Solar Impulse 1, took its first flight in December 2009. This project intends to achieve the first circumnavigation of the Earth by a piloted fixed-wing aircraft using only solar power.
The Swiss experimental aircraft Solar Impulse 2 was completed in 2014. It works only on solar energy. It will continue its round the world trip from the airport “Kalaeloa” Hawaii. The plane was under repair for nine months, because of solar panels damage.
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg from Switzerland are the enthusiasts who took the pilot seats. Both of them are crazy about alternative energy. After 62-hour flight it is expected they should reach California, USA. Hawaii aircraft during the nine months was under repair because of damage to solar panels.
The plane is built from carbon fiber and has a wingspan of 72 meters – more than some modern passenger liners. At the same time, Solar Impulse 2 weighs only 2.3 tons. The upper part of the wing is covered with solar panels which drive four electric motors. The plane speeds up to 140 km/h.