The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered plan that’s planned to go on a 20-25 day trip around the world, was recently tested on a runway and the test was a success. And just yesterday, the plane made its first actual flight, proving that the concept works.
The flight wasn’t much when seen by a random observer – the plane flew for about 350 meters at an altitude of 1 meter. Still, it was a moment of great success for the team behind the Solar Impulse, as this is the first time that a plane of such dimensions, weight, and energy requirements has made it into the air.
The team are planning to keep the plane flying for longer and longer distances now that they’ve succeeded once – the culmination of this will be a 36-hour flight where the plane will be powered by nothing but the sun’s rays.
This is certainly a great concept, and one that many have failed to realize before. If it takes off (pardon the pun), this may very well mark the beginning of a whole new era in aviation – and in human history in general.
[ Via Inhabitat ]