Is solar powered air travel the future?

Air travel has become very frequent these days. Millions of passengers fly across the globe every day. Monetary aspect and convenience aside; the cost of these flights to the environment is immense. The aircraft manufacturing companies are looking at alternatives to conventional energy sources. Having succeeded in manufacturing Electric Vehicles, it is now time for the skies to “go green”. Solar-powered air travel took a giant leap on the 26th of July, 2016, when the first solar plane completed its trip around the world. Even though, it took around 500 days, with an average speed of 45 mph, it was shown to the world that it can be done.

This technology is still in its early stages and there is a lot of room for improvement. One thing that needs improvement is the efficiency of the fuel cell. Recently, Airbus has successfully completed 26 days of non-stop flight using solar energy. Furthermore, Boeing has jumped into the race as well. The aircraft manufacturing giant is pushing for an even longer flying record.

Can we use solar-powered planes for commercial use?

At this moment, the answer is NO. However, one cannot rule out the possibility of it happening in the future. For example, an invention of a highly efficient solar cell can change things around for this industry. Guess we will have to wait and see.


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