Solar powered plane prototype, the Solar Impulse recently took a flight over the Swiss skies. Flying at an altitude of 3,937 feet, the plane managed to remain airborne for 87 minutes. Thus, the Solar Impulse took another step closer to its goal of flying around the world without the use of any fossil fuel, a feat the plane is hoped to complete in 2012.
The plane has a wing span as large as an Airbus A340, the wings carry the 12,000 solar cells that feed the plane’s high performance batteries. The batteries are meant to ensure that the plane can fly not only by day, but also during the night.
Power is fed to four electric motors that keep the Impulse airborne. When the plane finally does attempt to fly around the world, it will be able to reach a top speed of 70 kmph, and fly at 27,900 feet above sea level. People involved in this test flight say everything worked out well with the flight.