Aviation · Flash of Science · Inventions

Inventions: Solar Bird

Source: Time website.  Solar Impulse 2 flies over the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, on a preparation flight

Look at that giant bird! Whoever captured this image has done a great job. Kudos!

Now, wondering what’s special in that? The flight is special… completely…

It’s a plane powered by the sun’s rays. Yes. Solar Impulse 2 will fly without fuel. Because it’s wings were equipped with 17,000 solar cells that charges the batteries. The plane will fly with stored energy at night..

The flight landed in Hawaii Friday after a record-breaking five-day journey across the Pacific Ocean from Japan.

The plane’s ideal flight speed is about 28 mph though that can double during the day when sun’s rays are strongest. The carbon-fiber aircraft weighs over 5,000 pounds.

The project, which began in 2002 and is estimated to cost more than $100 million, is aimed at highlighting the importance of renewable energy and the spirit of innovation. Hope this solar fly will one day be commercialized…

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