Solar Impulse 2: a momentous creation for human aeronautics

solar impulse 2 cairo solar impulse

Back in the early 1900s when Wilbur and Orville Wright took off in the world’s first  powered and sustained airplane, man knew that they could reach for the stars and beyond.

Ever since the Wright brothers took off, the world has seen steady innovations in aviation; jet turbines, panoramic views, WiFi, I’m pretty sure that the brothers never in their wildest dreams imagined it to go this far. It seems another man is hoping the world will look to his crazy idea for new aviation and renewable energy breakthroughs.

The Solar Impulse project, which started with Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, has finally reached completion. Piccard knows a thing or two about these endeavours, being an explorer and astronaut as well as a medical doctor specialising in psychiatry. He was the first to travel around the world in a balloon, as well as the chairman and the first to believe in Solar Impulse. Borschberg, a pilot by profession (helicopter, fighter pilot and airplane pilot) is also an engineer and co-founder and CEO of Solar Impulse.

The Solar Impulse 2 weighs significantly less than a Boeing 747 at only 2.3-tonnes with a wingspan of over 72-metres. The 17 000 solar cells can keep the Impulse 2 travelling at an average speed of 70km/h. Besides boasting high solar efficiency, the Impulse 2 is sensitive to weather conditions as well as sporting a cockpit that’s only slightly larger than a telephone box.

Piccard and Borschberg hope that Solar Impulse 2 will inspire new applications, inventions in the aviation world

As the plane left on the last leg of its journey from Cairo to Abu Dhabi, a momentous moment was observed. Much like the Wright brothers who had a crazy dream of the first successful flight of man, Piccard and Borschberg have set their own names in history, by successfully circumnavigating the globe in a solar-powered plane. Piccard’s decade-long quest to prove the capabilities of a solar plane has finally ended.

“If governments had the courage to promote clean technologies on a massive scale, our society could simultaneously reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, create jobs and stimulate sustainable growth,” he said on the Solar Impulse website.

Even though there aren’t any commercial applications of the airplane yet, Piccard and Borschberg are hoping that with the success of their venture, it can pave a way for new applications and new inventions in the aviation world.

With the successful landing which took place a few days ago, Piccard and Borschberg have already established the International Committee of Clean Technology which will seek to continue the legacy of a clean renewable energy of the Solar Impulse 2.

“Until recently, protecting the environment was expensive and threatened our society’s comfort, mobility and growth. Today, thanks to modern clean technologies, the energy consumption of the world, and therefore the C02 emissions, could be divided by two, while creating jobs and enhancing profits. The International Committee of Clean Technologies will work in this direction,” said Piccard in a media statement.

If you want to watch the journey of the Solar Impulse 2, have a look at this link here 

Featured image: Solar Impulse



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