Solar Impulse – A 100 % Solar Powered Aircraft

After 5 years of hard work, Captain Bertrand Piccard – one who circumnavigate the world in a balloon in 1999 , and Borschberg have unveiled the Solar Impulse – a 100 % solar powered aircraft. This solar powered plane demonstrate the viability of the renewable energy source by being the first to perform a manned flight around the globe using only solar power.

In preparation last year, the solar impulse team conducted a virtual flight in it’s cockpit simulator known as the Virtual Flight 2008 , the cockpit simulator was wired with cam so people can watch the test live.

Solar Impulse Aircraft epfl - description of Solar Powered Airplane by Bertrand Piccard and Borschberg, snapshot from solar impulse video

the solar impulse team had their  virtual flight in it's cockpit simulator

The wingspan of solar impulse aircraft for the initial prototype will be 60 meters and the wingspan for the final plane will be 80 meters, there will be considerable room for solar cells. The electric motors is being powered by 12 thousand photovoltaic cells providing 6KW of power in aircraft. Power collected from the solar cells and stored in the batteries will be used to drive 3.5-meter propellers.

solar impulse airplane - sideview of the aircraft - snapshot from video

The two initiator , Bertrand Piccard and Borschberg first landed their solar plane in China for the first time last year August, 2008.

Solar flight will cut down on the amount of air and noise pollution generated by airplane travel. Although this technology may not be commercially available for several years.

Terrafugia’s Flying Car

Only seen in TV and science fiction films,The Flying car is at last becoming reality as Terrafugia’s Flying Car – The Terrafugia Trasition took its first official flight Earlier this month at Plattsburgh International Airport. The Terrafugia Transition is a two-seater plane that at the touch of a button converts into car.


See more photos at Terrafugia’s site:


Terrafugia’s wing has a wingspan of 27 feet and 6 inches and as a car, the Terrafugia’s wing can be folded up, to be easy on garages & traffic. It runs on unleaded fuel and can fly at 120 mph and can fly up to 500 miles on a single tank. Terrafugia hopes to deliver the first production flying car by the middle of next year. Watch Terrafugia’s Trasition video animation landing.