March 9th saw the launch of a solar powered aircraft which has begun a record-breaking attempt to travel around the globe. The plane/glider/Solar Plane name Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi and is now heading east to Oman.
Exploration to Change the World
The Solar Impulse pioneers have set out to achieve something that still seems impossible today: the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, powered only by the sun, with no fuel or polluting emissions.
Our aim: Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg do not plan to revolutionize the aviation industry but instead to demonstrate that the actual alternative energy sources and new technologies can achieve what some consider impossible. Solar Impulse wants to mobilize public enthusiasm in favor of technologies that will allow decreased dependance on fossil fuels, and induce positive emotions about renewable energies.
Solar Impulse also wants to encourage and inspire each and every one of us to become pioneers and explorers in our own lives, and to invent a brighter future.
The two pilots Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard will have to circle the planet using only the power of the sun.
The plane has a wingspan of 72 m and the aircaft is wider that a Boeing 747. It is made of extremely light materials and will use a massive 17,000 solar panels which have been layered over the tops of the wings to harness the power of the sun to power its flight.
Weighing over 2 tonnes and with a top speed of just 70km/h, Solar Impulse 2 hasn’t been designed for speed. Instead the plane will be the focus of a global campaign to promote clean energy for a clean future check out more here http://www.futureisclean.org/
You can also follow the progress of the flight here http://www.solarimpulse.com/ This is a very exciting time in the context of use of Alternative Technology, Electronics, Aeronautical Skills, and Technology Partners.