Laser-Powered Aircraft.

Nobuki Kawashima, a professor of aeronautical engineering at Kinki University, led the team that created this aircraft powered by ground-based laser.

The aircraft measures 78 cm (30 in.) long, weighs 800 grams (1.8 lbs.), and has wings like a kite. A disc-shaped solar panel attached underneath powers the propeller when struck by a ground-based laser.

A battery powered the aircraft’s propeller at takeoff, but once it reached an altitude of about 50 meters (165 feet) — near the ceiling of the dome — the aircraft switched to laser-powered flight.


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