Published on December 26th, 2012 | by Christopher DeMorro5
Solar Impulse EV Airplane Aiming For New York-To-California Flight In 2013
Having already completed an inter-continental flight from Spain to Morocco earlier in the year, the Solar Impulse team is now setting their eyes on the birthplace of flight; America. Their lightweight solar airplane has a 200-foot wingspan and is powered by four 10-horsepower electric motors that give it a cruising speed of just 60 to 70 mph.
Doesn’t sound like much. But given that the Solar Impulse plane is powered by electricity pulled from the sun, I think Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, leaders of this project, deserve a fair amount of credit. Their ambitions to fly all the way around the world may have to wait a bit longer. But a transcontinental flight across the U.S. would drum up a lot of publicity and excitement for the world-hopping HB-SIA solar plane, which will feature an even bigger wingspan and a pressurized cockpit.
But will solar-powered flight ever be more than just a functional experiment?