Meet Solvay, the airplane that might make history as the first plane to fly overnight by solar power. The aircraft is expected to last 36 hours in flight. Perhaps this is hopeful thinking for the Swiss, considering their last test flight only launched the plane a meter in the air and a mere 350 meters forward.
BBC cheekily called the December launch a "flea hop." The plane has been in the works for a while, but it is expected to make big moves this year.
By partnering with Bayer MaterialScience, Solar Impulse hopes to tap into its nanotube technology, so their plane can fly even faster and lighter. The downside to making the plane so light is the risk involved: Nobody really knows how it will hold up in the mile high sky.
Image: flickr/ Ange Halle
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com