Swiss Parachutist Raphael Domjan achieved a first on Tuesday (August 26) — the world's first jump from a solar-powered aircraft. The plane soared to 1,520 meters (nearly 5,000 ft) over western Switzerland, Swiss organizers noted via a statement. Leaping from the two-seater prototype plane, Domjan peaked at 150 kilometers per hour during his jump, landing near the project base in Payerne.
"Today, there were many firsts, but the most important is [this is] the first time that someone jumped from an electric aircraft. And this is something that is changing the future for this sport for skydivers," he said.
"It was the first time we did a solar skydive; I climbed with the energy coming from the plane's solar cells," he said.
In 2022, the team hopes to carry out a high-altitude flight powered exclusively by solar energy — seeking to reach the stratosphere with an altitude of 20,000 meters.
Emissions from standard kerosene-fueled planes currently account for about 2% of human-made carbon emissions; could solar-powered planes be the future?