Solar Powered Aircraft

10 Solar-Powered Airplanes That Changed The World

 Solar Powered Aircraft

Solar power has made its way into the field of aviation technology. Researchers are developing and have developed some groundbreaking solar-powered aircraft that could change the future of flight.

Using the power of the sun is a great way for manufacturers to be kinder to the environment and save the plane owner money over time. Here is a list 10 incredible approach for solar powered airplanes:

1. Pathfinder

When the Pathfinder was first assembled, its very existence was a top secret military endeavor. Developed for thePathfinder solar powered plane purpose of capturing lengthy surveillance from high altitudes, the project was terminated, and the Pathfinder would then be kept in storage for over a decade.

In 1993 the Ballistic Missile Defence Organization uncovered the aircraft and began making modifications. They reduced the motor count from eight to six and battery power was united with solar energy.

This unusual aircraft was used on five reported flights between 1993-1994 to perform monitoring assignments at a lower altitude.

2. Centurion

With similarities to the Pathfinder, the Centurion could be considered the more advanced older brother of the first drone. Its wingspan measures ninety-eight feet, almost twice the size of the Pathfinder and the body is significantly solar powered Centurionlonger, coming in at over two hundred and five feet.

 It too was primarily designed to be able to conduct surveillance over long periods of time at an immense distance from the ground.

The government plans to manufacture clones of the Centurion to perform various tasks like monitoring, scientific sampling, and telecommunications. Theoretically, once all additions are made to this solar powered UAV, it will be able to stay in the air for weeks or months at a time.

3. Hy-Bird

A project is currently in the works to make an airplane that runs off of completely renewable energy. Known as the Hy-Bird solar aircraftHy-Bird, the team of builders hopes to produce an aircraft that uses hydrogen and photons to circumnavigate the globe.

This could be the most ecologically friendly aircraft ever made as it would emit no harmful gasses. Citizens will also appreciate how much this type of airplane will cut down on noise.

The project will rely primarily on photovoltaic cells placed on the wings and tail of the plane to fuel the necessary energy to support the launch and on board power.

4. Helios

Helios solar powered prototype

The Helios prototype was an invention created for the Environmental  Research Aircraft And Sensor Tech Project.

It was quite the success, setting a world record in altitude for any propeller driven an aerial vehicle of reaching nearly ninety-seven thousand feet.

This unmanned aerial system featured a futuristic solar-electric flying wing. Unfortunately, this UAV was totaled in a crash in 2003.


Facilitators of the Solar Impulse project have been working on their creation know only by its registration identity,hbsia solar aircraft


Four years of research and testing have gone into building the prototype and soon it could be making its first flight.

Designed with a shocking two hundred foot wingspan, this unique aircraft is projected to be able to remain in flight for a day and a half without interruption and the use of fuel.

6. SoLong  Solong Solar powered plane

The mission of the crew responsible for creating the SoLong was to make a drone that could potentially fly for years. Photon receptors are attached to the wings and during the day, the sun’s rays are absorbed by the arrays and converted into energy.

What makes SoLong so different is its ability to not only transform solar energy into fuel but its ability to store excess photovoltaic energy so the UAV can continue to fly during the night.

The drone completes this daily cycle and can hypothetically remain in flight until it deteriorates.

7. Zephyr

Zephyr is another solar powered aircraft that is a real wonder. The technique it uses incorporates traditional solarZephyr uses traditional solar energy energy and low drag aerodynamics.

In its initial test flight, the Zephyr performed immaculately and stayed in the air for six hours, which is the maximum time allowed in this original region of testing.

The photovoltaic wings and rechargeable batteries mean that the Zephyr could very well stay airborne for weeks at a time.

8. Sky-Sailor

The Sky-Sailor is an aeronautic work in progress. What makes this experiment so different is that it would not occur on Earth, but instead Mars.Sky-sailor solar plane

After a voyage to the fourth planet from the sun via a carrier spacecraft, the Sky-Sailor would be ejected into the Martian atmosphere.This mission would capture surveillance of the planet from regions that have yet to be discovered.

The flight is thought to be able to last for around twelve hours and will likely end due to atmospheric conditions wearing down the craft and causing it to crash.

9. Discovery  Discovery solar powered plane

The scientists at NASA are currently working on a solar-powered aircraft that could capture unbelievable footage of Venus. The UAV has already been designed, but further testing is necessary before it would be sent to the second planet to the sun.

It would have to be transported there via aeroshell, but the real challenge will be making it capable of sustaining the conditions on Venus. For it to get continuous sunlight while in flight, the flying machine would have to be able to match the average wind speed on the planet which is a shocking 5,000 miles per hour.

For it to get continuous sunlight while in flight, the flying machine would have to be able to match the average wind speed on the planet which is a shocking 5,000 miles per hour.

Theoretically, the UAV could stay in flight as long as it maintained a flight course forty miles above the surface level because anything outside that could be too much or too little atmospheric pressure.

10. Sunseeker

After witnessing Larry Mauro’s prized solar powered glider in flight, Eric Raymond was so inspired that he wanted to Sunseeker solar planedesign and build one himself. Construction began on his solar fueled airplane in 1986, but completing the process would be a struggle.

His plane was named the Sunseeker and by 1988 it was garnering interest from Japanese investors like Sanyo and other companies as well. Its first test flight was in 1989, and it was immediately revamped.

The original motor and propeller systems were replaced with brushless motor and folding propellers. This light aircraft spent one hundred twenty-one hours in flight in just one month over a range of twenty-one launches.

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