Solar Impulse

The Solar Impulse aircraft successfully arrived in Le Bourget after its fuel-free flight to the International Paris Air Show. It is billed at the show as one of the special guests.

Founders say Solar Impulse is a first. Despite being solar powered, it can also cope when the weather turns bad – making it the first plane to be able to fly day and night without requiring fuel.

The 12,000 solar cells integrated into the wing supply four electric motors (maximum power 10CV each) with renewable energy and charge the 400kg lithium polymer batteries during the day, enabling the aircraft to fly at night.

With an average flying speed of 70 kilometres per hour, Solar Impulse is not an immediate threat to commercial jets. However, founder and chairman of Solar Eclipse, Bertrand Piccard, says it will revolutionise the aviation industry.