April 10, 2014
You have probably already heard about the ambitious project of flying an airplane around the world with only solar energy, without fuel. It sounds impossible but now, just a year before the flight takes place, you can see for the first time the new model of the device that the crossing is going to attempt. This is the Solar Impulse 2.
With a wingspan of 72 meters, it is wider than a Boeing 747. However, its cabin only leaves room for one person. The wings are completely covered in solar panels, a total of 17,248 small panels, each as fine as a human hair.
The fuselage and other components are made with a special technique to treat carbon fiber. This material covers the entire apparatus in sheets that are three times lighter than paper. Four ultra-light engines power the aircraft and are 90% more efficient than conventional heat engines.
via Solar Impulse 2, this is the solar plane that will go around the world.
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