A solar-powered plane just flew around the world


An article by Kate Yoder for Grist

The scrappy plane we’ve all been rooting for just completed the first solar-powered flight around the world, no fossil fuels burned. On Tuesday, Solar Impulse 2 ended its epic 24,500-mile journey and landed back home in Abu Dhabi.


The one-seater plane, sporting 17,000 solar cells on its wings, is as wide as a Boeing 747 but light as a feather — well, as light as a car, anyway. Though the 16-month trip was largely a stunt to promote renewable energy, it’s a milestone for aviation as well.

Bertrand Piccard, one of two Swiss pilots who flew the Solar Impulse, predicted that medium-size electric planes will begin carrying passengers within the next decade. We’re a fan of that possibility — and the EPA might be, too. The agency recently announced plans to begin limiting carbon emissions from airplanes since they pose a threat to public health.

One thing we can say now: Renewable energy is gellin’ — as in Magellan.

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

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