This revolutionary single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber has a 72 meter wingspan (larger than that of the Boeing 747-8I) for a weight of just 2,300 Kg, equivalent to that of a car.
The 17,000 solar cells built into the wing supply four electric motors (17.5 CV each) with renewable energy.
During the day, the solar cells recharge lithium batteries weighing 633 Kg (2077 lbs.) which allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore to have virtually unlimited autonomy.
Learn more about the challenges of building the Round-the-World Solar Airplane.
We built an aircraft powered only by solar energy, capable of flying day and night several days in a row, above the oceans and around the world.› Discover the Technical Challenges
How will the pilot live, alone in the air several days in a row, in a 3,8m3 unpressurized cockpit, facing fatigue and stressful conditions? › Learn about the Human Challenges
Solar Impulse 2's features, in short:
We don’t know whether to laugh or cry… We’ve just fallen short on our direct China-Hawaii flight, this flight of 6 days and 6 nights that André had so been looking forward to. The weather forecasts suddenly turned bad and got the better of our ambitions, forcing us to divert Solar Impulse ...
We don’t know whether to laugh or cry… We’ve just fallen short on our direct China-Hawaii flight, this flight of 6 days and 6 nights that André had so been looking forward to. The weather forecasts suddenly turned bad and got the better of our ambitions, forcing us to divert Solar Impulse 2 to Nagoya, Japan. There was a diplomatic ballet worthy of a thriller to obtain authorizations to land and inflate our mobile hangar, where, 36 hours earlier, we had struggled to get permission just to over-fly. All this almost makes us forget that Si2 beat the solar aviation distance and duration records, flying 2,600 km in 44 hours. And what is more - a great deal more - that it was airborne for two days and nights without any fuel! This shows that the perpetual flight I dreamed about when initiating this project 16 years ago is possible. It’s a validation not only of a vision, but also of all the hard work done by the technical team under André’s direction. So, in a way, this should be the happiest day of our lives, or in any event the most important. Until the next stages of our world tour ... coming soon, I hope.
You can find this story on carandache.com