Currently in the innovative aviation industry, is an environmentally friendly shift to creating a solar powered passenger airplane. This new passenger plane has made exceptionally large strides to becoming a reality in recent decades. While these planes would bring a monumental change to the aviation industry, what is the likelihood of you boarding one anytime soon?
According to The Washington Post, The Solar Impulse 2 (that just landed in Ohio and is on its last leg of its around-the-world journey) is powered by more than 17,000 solar cells, has a wingspan of an abnormally huge jet, and only carries one single passenger. Basically, for a solar powered plane to carry the average 150-200 passengers (seatguru.com), which a 737 Aircraft usually carries, that means the plane would have to essentially have the wingspan of a little less than a mile to carry an average of 150 passengers.
Also, for a typical 737 aircraft to become electric an unimaginably huge battery source would have to be implemented into the aircraft to be able to safely carry more than one or two passengers at a time. This idea is not impossible, it just has a long way to go.
On the other hand, NASA is currently focusing on new aircraft innovations. These innovations focus on less noise, less pollution and a lighter weight aircraft; along with a more condensed and aerodynamic wingspan, which is well on it’s way to becoming a thing of the present.
Even though solar powered planes would be an amazing asset to society, the environment, and the aviation industry, the company Solar Flight Inc keeps their projects confidential. Even if they are designing a solar powered jumbo jet for the future we will never know what type of projects are being built and how close we are to fuel-free air travel until they want us to know. In the meantime, make sure you’re covered every time you board a plane with one of our Baymac Health Programs.