Solar-Powered Airplane “Solar Impulse” Completes First Ever International Flight

Solar-Powered Airplane

Solar Impulse, a fully solar-powered airplane has completed the world’s first international solar-powered flight. After a flight lasting 12 hours 59 minutes at an altitude of 12,400 feet, using no fuel and propelled by solar energy alone, Solar Impulse HB-SIA landed safely in Brussels, Belgium.

Landing Video:

After the landing, plane’s co-founder Bertrand Piccard said:

Our goal is to create a revolution in the minds of the people . . . to promote solar energies — not necessarily a revolution in aviation.

Compared with 2003, energy efficiency has increased from 16 to 22 percent. And the cells are now half as thick.

Solar-Powered Airplane "Solar Impulse" Completes First Ever International Flight


Solar Impulse has more than 12,000 solar cells(150 microns thick), a wingspan of 208 feet and it is about 1,600 kg in weight.

The project has a total cost of $88 million which is funded by mostly-Swiss partners and public donations.

[via Solar Impulse]