VIDEO: This Giant Solar-Powered Plane Is Going To Circumnavigate The Earth

Solar Impulse-1Screenshoot via YouTube/Solar ImpulseIt’s a plane that can in theory fly forever.

According to Bloomberg, it’s as big as a Boeing 747 but weighs only as much as a “family car.”

It’s the Solar Impulse, an aircraft that powered by light — but that can still soar in darkness because it uses batteries to store energy gathered during daytime flight.

It isn’t exactly supersonic, however. But it is going to fly around the world. In rather less than 80 days.

Bloomberg’s Thomas Mulier and Patrick Winters write that the duo of pilots taking turns at the controls with need to “withstand flying non-stop for five days and nights to prepare for ocean crossings stuffed in a tiny cabin travelling as high as 27,000 feet at about 45 miles per hour.”

Solar Impulse-2Screenshoot via YouTube/Solar ImpulseThe plane has flown from San Francisco to New York.

The aircraft has covered vast distances before: In 2013, it was flown (slowly) across the U.S., in multiple legs, and it’s flown (slowly) across continents, from Switzerland to Morocco.

Even though it lacks afterburners, it still looks cool, lazily transiting the skies above the world’s cities.

Solar Impulse-3Screenshoot via YouTube/Solar ImpulseParis airspace has also been visited.

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