1. China’s largest solar powered unmanned plane flies at 65,000ft; can stay in air for months

China’s largest solar powered unmanned plane flies at 65,000ft; can stay in air for months

China has unveiled a solar-powered unmanned plane which has the capability to stay in the air for months. The sun-powered unmanned plane has reached a height of 65,000ft in altitude during a test flight, according to reports.

By: | Published: June 3, 2017 10:15 AM
china, china largest solar powered plane, china solar power plane, solar powered china plane, china unmanned plane, china news, china technology, china latest news The test flight was kept a top secret, and the plane is being touted as the second largest solar-powered drone in the world. (Reuters)

China has unveiled a solar-powered unmanned plane which has the capability to stay in the air for months. The sun-powered unmanned plane has reached a height of 65,000ft in altitude during a test flight, according to reports. The plane is known as the Caihong or Rainbow and has been developed by China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA). The plane has an astonishing wingspan of over 40 meters wider than that of a Boeing 737 passenger aircraft, reports say. The drone can cruise at a speed of 150 to 200 km per hour. Its maintenance is easy and simple, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

The test flight was kept a top secret, and the plane is being touted as the second largest solar-powered drone in the world. This information was revealed by chief engineer of CAAA drone project Shi Wen, according to PTI. The drone is beaten only by a model by NASA and its performance index and technological capacity are among the most advanced in the world, Shi was quoted as saying by the agency.

The US and the UK also have solar-powered drones capable of flying at 65,000ft in their arsenal. China is likely to sell the design to other countries, as per reports. The unmanned aerial vehicle will be used mostly for airborne early warning, aerial reconnaissance, disaster monitoring, meteorological observation and communications relay, the report says.

Notably, in 2015 the world’s first solar-powered aircraft ‘Solar Impulse-2’ had made stopovers in Ahmedabad and Varanasi. Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard and his co-pilot Borschbergh had flown the no fuel, purely sun-powered aircraft.

Solar Impulse 2 is a lightweight aircraft with the wingspan of a Boeing 747. It is entirely powered by sunlight through 17,000 solar cells built into its carbon fibre wings, with no fuel or polluting emissions. In July last, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had congratulated the pilot of the Solar Impulse 2 as the solar-powered aircraft completed its epic journey around-the-world spanning over 40,000 kms, saying it was a historic day for humanity.

  1. R
    Ramanath sen
    Jun 3, 2017 at 8:30 pm
    This was predicted by Sree Prabhataranjan sarkar,who founded Anand Marg(path of bliss)All most 40 years back,that to survive in this planet for longer period we must utilize solar ,wind,in place fossil fuel.To know more about great personality of century,please log on to Amanda Mary .
    Reply
    1. S
      Suryanarayana Chunduru
      Jun 3, 2017 at 10:52 am
      India should also develop the Solar Powered Drones, equally capable to China. Yes, India is capable. Yes, India is only a Capable Country because all these were testes in Vedic period itself. Only prerequisite is Government's involvement and encouragement. That's all. Also, first of all, the Govt should encourage students to opt the Solar energy engineering basics at the entry point of academy i.e.from 10th standard itself. Also Solar panels manufacturing should become a cottage industry in the rural India to eliminate unemployment. Every Village house and farm / agriculture lands should be equipped with Solar panels for their daily electric power needs. In Urban areas, all apartments and hotels should be used only Solar energy. Solar Energy India and Swatch Bharat are the rhythm of India.
      Reply

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