On Tuesday, the developers of the world’s first solar-powered plane (with the capacity to fly for seven days and nights), announced that it will embark on its global journey in early March 2015, the AFP reported.Solar-Impuls-2-vs-jumbo-jet

With flying speeds of around 50-100 kms (30-60 miles) per hour, the journey for Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) is expected to take 5 months from take-off, flying over the Pacific Ocean and making regular stops along the route, which has been 12 years in the planning.

 

Bertrand Piccard, chairman of Solar Impulse said: ‘We want to demonstrate that clean technology and renewable energy can achieve the impossible’.

‘Renewable energy can become an integral part of our lives, and together we can help save our planet’s natural resources’.

Designed out of carbon fibre, the Si2 has wings that are larger than a Boeing 747 yet weighs about the same as a 4×4 motor vehicle. The wings of the plane have 17 249 solar cells which will power 4 electric engines in addition to the rechargeable lithium batteries.

Solar Impulse 2

According to Si2 researchers, the plane will reduce speed at night to preserve battery life, giving the Si2 ‘virtually unlimited autonomy’.

Andre Borschberg, chief executive officer of Solar Impulse remains optimistic that the energy efficient flying mobile will achieve its goals.

‘Solar Impulse 2 must accomplish what no other plane in the history of aviation has achieved – flying without fuel for five consecutive days and nights with only one pilot in the unpressurised cockpit’, Borschberg said.

The journey will be available for viewing on the company website in late February/early March.

 

(Pic Credits: Solar Impulse)

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Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl has been working in the African power, energy and water sectors since 2011, first with African Utility Week and now as the Editor of ESI Africa. She is also an Advisory Board member of the Global and African Power & Energy Elites publications. With her passion for sustainable business and placing African countries on the international stage, Nicolette takes a keen interest in current affairs and technology trends.

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