Solar-powered airplanes are taking off in the US

The Wright brothers had no idea what they were getting into when they finally completed the first flight with their rickety wood and canvas contraption. But now, 110 years later, we’ve brought the concept of airplanes to a whole new level. Imagine riding in a plane that no longer fights the laws of nature but actually works with the natural environment to keep you up in the air.

Thanks to the scientists at the Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California, airplanes can now rely on the power of the sun to fly. Known as the Solar Impulse HB-S1A, the first solar-powered craft can only handle one passenger at a time. But if history has taught us anything about the ingenuity of the human spirit, we know that more advances are just around the corner and soon we might all be flying with nothing more than the clean energy of the sun.

Reassembling Solar Impulse at Moffett
Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype airplane attends his first flight over Payerne
20120621_crossingfrontiers_2ndflightrabat-ouarzazate_Jean Revill