While Mr. Musk is invested in getting humans to places at breakneck speeds using unbelievable technologies, there may be one day where we circumvent this earth of ours without using a single drop of fuel. As the name suggests, SolarStratos is a manned aerial vehicle with a two-person capacity, an incredibly large wingspan, and the ability to completely run on solar power! The massive wingspan has a twofold purpose. It not only enables the plane to fly without using as much propelling power, but it also comes with solar panels mounted all over it.
The Swiss-based company’s plane sets records for being the first solar-powered airplane to reach heights of 25,000 meters. Made from custom as well as off-the-shelf parts, the SolarStratos comes with an Austrian-made 20 kWh battery, solar panels from California-based SunPower, and given the heights it reaches, the pilots will be clad in specially designed pressurized spacesuits made by Russian company Zvezda.
SolarStratos’s founder Raphaël Domjan hopes to develop a technology that can battle climate change and champion solar power over high octane fuel. Once the technology is proven to work, the company aims to build a 3-manned vehicle too that will include a pressurised cabin and will operate commercial space tourism flights as soon as 2021.
Designer: Raphaël Domjan (SolarStratos)