Featured Image for Solar Impulse: Glider plane runs on solar power

Solar Impulse: Glider plane runs on solar power

Bertrand Piccard, who hails from a lineage of record-breaking explorers (his gramps was the inspiration for Professor Calculus in the Tintin comics while his dad went seven miles deep down into the Pacific Ocean), assembled a 80-strong team of engineers and technicians who have emerged with the Solar Impulse, a majestic solar-powered glider that weighs just 3,500 pounds.

It comes with 208-foot wings and four lithium polymer batteries to store energy from nearly 12,000 solar cells. By day, these batteries accumulate energy with the plane climbing up to 30,000 feet; at sunset, it glides to lower altitudes on stored power. Test flights have already started. It sounds cool. It looks cool. It’s cool.

About the author

Low Lai Chow travels light and is working on exercising demons from her past. Find out more about her at lowlaichow.com.

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