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Solar-Powered Blimp to Attempt First Journey

The first crossing by air over the English Channel was in 1785, when French inventor Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American physician John Jeffries crossed the body of water using a hydrogen gas balloon.

Now, another milestone may be reached, as the world’s first solar-powered blimp plans to attempt the same feat.

Nephelios, built by Projet Sol’r, is a helium-filled airship that was designed by students at engineering and technical schools in France.  The large aircraft is 72 feet long and 18 feet wide and features semi-flexible solar cells that can generate enough kilowatts to keep the blimp moving at 25 mph.

The cells power a motor that turns two propellers and the ship is expected to cross the Channel in under an hour.  It took Blanchard and Jeffries about two and a half hours to cross the English Channel in 1785.

The inaugural flight could take place as early as next week.  Do you think its journey will be a success?

Image: Project Sol’r

One Response to “Solar-Powered Blimp to Attempt First Journey”

  1. […] previously reported that the world’s first solar-powered blimp is planning to cross the English […]

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