Solar powered plane flies through the night

Written by: Captain Skellett // July 12th, 2010 // Uncategorized

Solar Plane Up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane… well yes it’s a plane. A solar powered plane.

Last week Solar Impulse flew their prototype plane through the night for the first time. The trip lasted over 26 hours, gathering and storing energy during the day. With 12% efficiency and rationing energy to last the night, the plane has eight horse power to run on. That’s about the same as the Wright brothers had in 1903.

It’s the first night flight ever by a solar powered plane, and in 2013 they plan to go round the world in five stages lasting several days at a time. Their goal is a non-stop round the world flight. Before they can do it, they need to improve battery storage to support the weight of two pilots. At the moment it’s a one man show, and round the world in one go would involve some serious sleep deprivation.

Captain Skellett

I be Captain Skellett. Me blog started in April 2009 when I was working full time and didn’t get a chance to talk science. Now I have changed jobs and talk science all the time, but that doesn’t stop me blogging. More About Captain Skellett   Google


One Response to “Solar powered plane flies through the night”

  1. James says:

    12% efficiency? Is that right? Does that mean it aquires 12% more energy than it needs per unit time? I dont think I understand that bit, but then again I’m a biologist and not a physicist or engineer 😉

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