Engineering a Zero-Fuel Airplane

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The Solar Impulse 2 completed a remarkable globe-straddling flight last July without consuming a drop of fossil fuel

Its exceptionally light weight, efficient batteries and 747-sized wings covered with photovoltaic cells allowed its electric motors to propel it through the skies, even in darkness. The 15-month multi-leg adventure saw pilots Piccard and Borschberg straddle oceans and hop across continents, backed by engineers, technicians and mission controllers, as well as numerous sponsors. They hope their accomplishment will boost the transition to renewable energies and sustainable development. The Solar Impulse Foundation and its World Alliance for Clean Technologies aim to promote solutions to environmental and health problems.

Engineering a Zero-Fuel Airplane