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The World's First Successful Solar Powered Flight

April 8, 2024
x min read

Solar energy has now successfully powered an autonomous aircraft for the first time ever.

What’s happening:

  • Aerospace company Skydweller Aero has announced they have completed the world’s first successful flight powered entirely by solar energy
  • The flight was completely autonomous and did not have any crew on board

The big idea:

  • Skydweller has purpose built planes that are capable of perpetual flight for reconnaissance missions, surveillance and combat based applications
  • All Skydweller aircraft are capable of autonomous flight that do not require any human beings to be on board
  • Skydweller is capable of providing geospatial mapping, maritime monitoring and high resolution land monitoring

By the numbers:

  • A Skydweller plane has approximately the same wing span size as a 747 and can cruise at an altitude of 45,000 feet
  • Skydweller’s aircraft are capable of carrying 800 pounds of total payload
  • Skydweller's aircraft are able to stay in the air for up to 90 days in perpetual flight due to being powered by renewable energy sources

Going deeper:

  • Because Skydweller is powered entirely by solar energy, all autonomous flights produce zero carbon emissions of any kind
  • Skydweller also has the potential to be used in emergency situations such as natural disasters, forest fires or chemical spills due to the ability for their aircraft to hover in the same location for prolonged periods of time, which is impossible for fuel powered planes to do

The intrigue:

  • Skydweller's aircraft can be used to track drug smuggling and even monitor illegal poaching of endangered animals

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