The Solar Impulse team, based in Switzerland, is engineering a new lightweight solar airplane to fly across the U.S. This technological break-through is completely powered by solar energy, it has a 200-foot wingspan and reaches a speed of 60 to 70 mph thanks to the four 10-horsepower electric motors.
The guys from Solar Impulse aim to accomplish this project in 2013, following the successful example of their earlier intercontinental flight from Spain to Morocco.
The transcontinental flight across the U.S., however, will be done by a plane that has even bigger wingspan and a pressurized cockpit.
Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, the leaders of the initiative and creators of the HB-SIA solar plane, have the optimistic vision of being able to fly around the world by such airplane, solely powered by solar energy.
There is still some time to go until they are able to do this, however they are definitely on the right track and should receive full credit for what they have managed to achieve already.