The Elaborate Quest to Fly a Solar-Powered Plane Around the World

By Mark Wolverton

If, one day, you find yourself driving an electric car that recharges its featherweight high-capacity lithium batteries with sunlight collected from super-efficient solar cells covering its carbon-composite body, you'll have Solar Impulse 2 to thank. It's a plane powered by nothing but sunlight, and this March, Bertrand Piccard and his copilot, engineer André Borschberg, will take it on a 12-leg, multiweek flight around the world. The point, Piccard says, isn't to start selling solar-powered planes—he just wants to show what might be possible.


photo credit: <a href="">Inhabitat</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>