The Solar Impulse Project, the first 100% solar-powered aircraft looks set to take off later this month on the 26th. This model will rely fully on the power of the sun, and has been dubbed the HB-SIA, featuring a superior wingspan of 61 meters and covered in almost 12,000 solar cells. While this sounds impressive, there has been numerous engineering obstacles to overcome. In fact, the 200 square meters of photovoltaic cells are unable to provide more than 6kW of power to the plane’s four motors, achieve a maximum of 8hp – somewhat similar to what the Wright Brothers had to play with back in 1903. This means the Solar Impulse won’t be able to go too fast, maxing out at around 43.5mph.
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