The Solar Impulse, the first plane in the world to be powered entirely by the sun, recently completed its first international flight — from Payerne, Switzerland to Brussels, Belgium.
After a flight lasting 12 hours 59 minutes, using no fuel and propelled by solar power alone, the Solar Impulse HB-SIA landed safely with pilot André Borschberg at the controls.
“The objective is to demonstrate what we can do with existing technology in terms of renewable energy and energy savings,” Borschberg told Reuters by telephone during the flight.
See the Solar Impulse land in Brussels:
Beyond the challenging goal of flying a solar airplane around the world, the Solar Impulse has a social mission — to promote the maximum use of renewable energies in order to safeguard the sustainability of our planet.
The plane, which requires 12,000 solar cells, embarked on its first flight in April 2010 and made history three months later by flying continuously for 26 hours. This ground-breaking overnight flight proves that it is possible to store and utilize solar energy even when the sun isn’t shining.
Arnaud Feist, the CEO of Brussels Airport Company, was very enthusiastic about welcoming the airplane onto the tarmac of Brussels Airport.
“This airplane, the first to function without fossil fuel and without emitting CO2, symbolizes the great efforts the aeronautical industry is making to develop new technologies for energy saving and increased use of renewable energies. Given Brussels Airport’s own ambition to continue reducing our CO2 emissions, we attach particular importance to solar energy generation projects. Therefore, we are delighted that Solar Impulse selected Brussels Airport as its first international destination.”
Image Credit: Solar Impulse