The idea of solely electric powered vehicles is only now beginning to gain ground within the automotive community, but an electric powered plane seems ages away. And yet, two Swiss pilots and innovators, have created a solar-powered plane that can fly through the day and the night, potentially, never needing to stop.
Solar Impulse is dream turned reality. A unique flying machine somewhere between a sail plane and a traditional aeroplane that runs off the energy of the sun.
Co-founders, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg set out in 2003 to see if it was even possible to build a solar powered aeroplane. Less than 10 years later in 2010, the first Solar Impulse plane, HB-SIA made it first flights.
On July 7, 2010, André Borschberg flew the HB-SIA for 26 hours, 10 minutes and 19 seconds, making it the first solar-powered aeroplane to fly through the night.
Now in 2013, the company prepares for a new challenge, a Continental flight across the US from West to East.
We recently spoke with Piccard and Borschberg about the development of the solar aeroplane and its future as well as the innovative technologies being used to power the plane.
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