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Solar technology reaches to the heights of plane in US

By Solar Times Bureau.

Science is rapidly progressing in solar technology and the success rate is, US is launching first of its kind Ultra-lightweight plane, which will be completely powered by solar energy, no fuel will be utilized to power this plane. This plan will fly from all over the country; it is commencing its journey from 1st May.

Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, the two pilots and the designer of the plane from Swiss made this announcement on 4th March, further they added that, the Solar Impulse plane will stop in Dallas city in Texas during its historic journey.

This is the only plane till dated, which is solely powered by solar energy, with out any fuel. The power is supplied from solar panels and battery power. Piccard and Borschberg required ten long years to design such a plane, which is a big success in solar energy field.

The plane expected to arrive in New York by July 1st week, it will stop at Phoenix (Arizona), Dallas-Ft. Worth, Washington DC and either Nashville (Tennessee), Atlanta (Georgia) or St. Louis along the way.

“It carries only one pilot and no passenger, but it carries lot of massage,” Piccard said. “Today we can’t imagine having a solar plane with 200 passengers. But in 1903 it was exactly the same,” he said, considering the consequences faced, while designing the first plane in the year 1903.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but we have to start and see where technology takes us,” he said.

The plane is designed in such a way that it can function even after the sun sets, as it collects the sun’s energy during the day, through the solar panels on its wings and during night it consumes the power stored in lithium-polymer batteries.

Prior to this, the solar Impulse plane had completed two journeys, firstly a 26 hour overnight flight in the year 2010 and in 2012 it flew from Switzerland to Morocco without any fuel. The Solar Impulse team’s goal is to fly around the world by 2015. O fly around the world, it needs five days continuously, which the current plane isn’t equipped for.

They would also need to find more efficient batteries and motors, as well as improve the plane’s reliability, Borschberg said.

“You have no time to do maintenance and no possibility to change parts,” he said of an around-the-world trip.

In its current form, however, the Solar Impulse is far from having any major practical application. The plane travels at a leisurely cruising speed that is lower than the highway speed limit in the United States and can hold just one passenger in a cramped cockpit.

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