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First 'Day and Night' Solar Plane Flies Across US

June 17, 2013
tags:#André Borschberg, #Bertrand Piccard, #Solar Impulse, #solar power, #voyage
by:Sara Jabril
On May 3rd the Voyage plane by Solar Impulse started its journey across the United States. After stops in Arizona, San Francisco, Texas, and Ohio, the purely solar-powered plane landed in Washington DC on Sunday morning, ahead of last leg of the journey to New York in early July.

Voyage is the world's first solar plane that flies by night as well as day. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are the two Swiss pilots, who are flying the plane across the US in a landmark journey that aims to showcase and raise interest in clean energy technology. Since the Voyage plane is a single-seat plane, featuring a small cockpit only, Piccard and Borschberg are taking turns in flying it.

The plane reaches a maximum speed of between 50mph and 100mph depending on the advantage of strong tail wind. Found on the plane's massive 63m wings, about 12,000 photovoltaic cells are responsible for charging the batteries during the day to get the aircraft running at night.

An extra treat for all enthusiasts: If the US tour proves to be a success (things are looking good!), the Swiss team will attempt a worldwide flight in 2015.

Watch the video to see the wonders of solar power for yourself.

Article written by:
sara jabril
Sara Jabril