Monday, April 27, 2015

The first round-the-globe solar-powered flight

It's not news that scientists have been working on a solar power plane for sometime already, and finally, a group of engineers headed by Switzerland's innovators has the first functional solar aircraft, Solar Impulse 2.

The aircraft has just completed a trip that was a 1344 kilometers long and lasted about seventeen hours. All the regular commercial flights were temporarily suspended making way to the unique futuristic looking plane.

This plane is the perfect example of a new clean way of technological process. The project is yet to become perfect - it's as bulky as Boeing 747 but not as fast. It develops the speed of an average family car.

The plane draws energy from the solar cells in its fuselage, which also allows it travel at nighttime as the solar energy is being retained by the batteries. The main obstacle for Solar Impulse 2 for now is stormy weather. Bertrand Piccard, the pilot and the head of the team of the innovators, has set his goals to be the first solar plane to fly around the world. We owe this legendary achievement partly to the solar power industry, and the engineers that made it possible by offering cutting edge tools for thin-film stress measurement for successful solar cell production.