SPAIN SOLAR IMPULSE.jpg
Photograph: EPA/SOLAR IMPULSE

The Solar Impulse 2 was built to fly around the world, powered only by the sun.

Here are some key facts about this aircraft and its technology:

Size and weight: The plane has a wingspan of 72 metres, wider than a Jumbo jet. However, at 2.3 tonnes, it weighs only as much as a mid-sized car.

Propulsion: Solar Impulse 2 is propelled by four electric motors that each have a maximum capacity of 15 kilowatts.

Energy: The motors are powered by 17,248 ultra-thin solar cells on the wings. The electricity is stored in lithium-polymer batteries.

Cockpit: The cockpit of the single-seater airplane measures only 3.8 cubic metres, but it contains a toilet, a business-class seat that can be turned into a bed and an autopilot. A special device measures the pilot's alertness and alarms him if needed.

Flight speed and height: Individual legs on the plane's world trip have lasted several days as the plane has an average airspeed of 75 kilometres per hour. It can fly at a maximum altitude of 8,500 metres.

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