Solar Plane Completes World’s First International Flight

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.”

Related Reading:

Samsung Unveils See-Through Solar-Powered Television

Former Sears Tower Will Generate Power With Solar Windows

World’s Largest Solar-Powered Boat Prepares For Carbon-Free Trip Around The Globe

Image Credit:  Solar Impulse


Dave C.
David C5 years ago

6/5/12: on its way from spain to africa

Carole H.
Carole H6 years ago

I am still waiting for interplanetary flight using solar wind powered sails - I'd book my seat now if I could - would have to have artificial gravity and fine dining as well though. I can dream.

Bernadette P.
Berny p6 years ago

thank you for the article, I saw this in the belgium pavilion at the shanghai expo and they also had a car so hopefully we will day ...get away from the polution created cars,planes etc.....

Good luck to them!

Francisco W.
Francisco W6 years ago

Good concept.... the auto industry should start making cars with solar panels.

Eva C.
Eva C.6 years ago

ummm i know that this is a very cool plane but uhh one question what will happen when the sun goes away A. KABOOM

Dana W.
Dana W6 years ago

Cool concept!

Joanna Marie De Leon
Joanna d6 years ago

wow, cool!

Khat Bliss
Past Member 6 years ago

I really hope we make this one...this is just the "tip of the iceberg"...Magnifique!

Salome Waters
Salome Waters6 years ago


Hege Torset
Hege Torset6 years ago