Technology and gaming content trusted in North America and globally since 1999
8,615 Reviews & Articles | 61,009 News Posts

Solar Impulse 2 aircraft to fly around the globe on electricity alone

Electric airplane will circumvent the globe using solar power alone starting in 2015 with landings around the world for educational events

Shane McGlaun | Apr 10, 2014 at 11:50 am CDT (1 min, 5 secs time to read)

You can walk outside, look up at the sky, and see propeller aircraft flying around on any given day. The thing all those propeller aircraft have in common is that they need some sort of fuel to burn in their engines. Some gliders can fly without a motor, but most aircraft still burn fuel of some sort.

Solar Impulse 2 aircraft to fly around the globe on electricity alone |

An electric airplane called the Solar Impulse 2 is getting ready for a voyage that will see it travel around the globe using no fuel. It looks a lot like a glider with long and thin wings and it does have propellers. Rather than spinning them with fossil fuels this plane uses solar power.

Inside the fuselage are some sort of battery packs that store the energy from the solar panels on the tops of the wing surface. Those batteries store enough power that the airplane can fly at night. It will hold two pilots who will fly the aircraft around the world.

The airplane won't fly non-stop, it will land several times during the trip to change pilots and to participate in events for local governments and schools. The spindly aircraft has a wingspan of 236-feet giving it a wingspan longer than a Boeing 747. Those wings are covered with 17,000 solar cells. The aircraft will start its trip in March 2015.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 11:44 am CDT

Shane McGlaun


Shane is a long time technology writer who has been writing full time for over a decade. Shane will cover all sorts of news for TweakTown including tech and other topics. When not writing about all things geeky, he can be found at the track teaching noobs how to race cars.

Related Tags