Solar Impulse 2 took its maiden flight on Monday, taking off from Payerne airbase in Switzerland. The test pilot, Markus Scherdel, reached just under 6,000ft (1,800m), without any fuel and a wing span of 236ft (72 metres; making it larger than Boeing 747-8I jet liner), and weighs the same as car at 382 stone.
The plane is a larger and upgraded version of the aircraft that flew across America last year. Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist and Andre Borschberg , a Swiss businessman and pilot, are the masterminds behind this amazing development.
Mr Piccard suggests; “An aeroplane like this is absolutely unique. And for the first time in history, we have an aeroplane that is flying with no fuel day and night, showing the incredible potential of the clean technologies – all these technologies that the world can also use in order to reduce the dependency to fossil fuel and to be cleaner and solve a lot of problems of pollution.”