A solar-powered aircraft takes flight

  • Image via: Solar Impulse

In Greek mythology, Icarus was told to avoid the sun as it would melt his wings and send him crashing to the earth. Today, however, there are engineers who are looking to the sun in a more positive light, and have actually created a solar powered aircraft to fly across America. Called the “Solar Impulse,” the plane covers most of its structure with solar cells as thin as hair to run several 10-horsepower electric motors. And despite having the wingspan of a Boeing 747, it only weighs about the same as a Ford Escape. Speed is not a priority, as the Impulse only flies at 40 miles per hour – a feature that might make this aircraft a less than popular choice for passengers going from New York to California.

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About the Author: Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.