Yes, we are here!

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-234-3368 or by email. Stay safe!

The Solar Impulse 2: An Innovative Solar Airplane

The Solar Impulse 2 is in the midst of the first-ever round-the-world trip made by a solar-powered plane.

| December 2015/January 2016

  • Solar Impulse 2
    Powered completely by the sun, the innovative Solar Impulse 2 airplane is in the midst of a historic journey.
    Photo by Solar Impulse/Stefatou/

  • Solar Impulse 2

You may think the age of aviation firsts has flown by, with renowned trips and famous failures firmly in the books. But now the Solar Impulse 2, a totally solar-powered airplane that’s been in the works for more than a decade, is reaching new heights with its historic, fossil-fuel-free flight around the world.

Prior to this journey, a prototype, Solar Impulse 1, successfully flew across Europe, Morocco and the United States to test the technology. With each landing, the pilots and team, which are based in Switzerland, reached out to NGOs, universities and schools to promote clean technologies. The team then progressed to Solar Impulse 2, constructed of carbon fiber and boasting a 72-meter wingspan outfitted with 17,000 solar cells.

The solar-powered airplane embarked from the United Arab Emirates on March 9, 2015, with a route that included stops in Oman, India, Myanmar, China and Hawaii. The plane can fly even after the sun sets by tapping into the power stored in its lithium batteries.

While in transit across the Pacific Ocean, the plane’s batteries began to overheat, so it stopped in Hawaii to undergo repairs. The next leg of the flight, which will take them across the United States and over the Atlantic Ocean, is on hold until spring 2016.

Pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg set out to demonstrate that we can innovate with alternative energies — in this case, solar power — to achieve the “impossible” while sustainably maintaining some aspects of our modern-day lifestyles. Currently, air travel in the United States alone generates 146.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases per year, so bringing renewables to this transportation sector could have a significant, positive impact.

You can keep up with the plane’s innovative strides — and the challenges it’s faced along its journey — online at Solar Impulse's website.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me