Following a series of runway tests
late last year the Solar Impulse HB-SIA
has taken to the air for the first time in the skies over Payerne, Switzerland. Piloted by Markus Scherdel, the completely solar powered craft reached an altitude of 1,200 meters and executed various maneuvers designed to test control systems and verify behavior against flight simulator calculations. The aircraft was in the air for 87-minutes before landing safely to the cheers of the Solar Impulse team.
Gizmag has followed closely the progress of Solar Impulse
from back when it was just a dream
through to it latest developments
, which now include it’s recent runway test. For the first time, the Solar Impulse HB-SIA has ventured out under its own steam (solar power) and taxied down the runway. Entirely powered by the sun, the aircraft has a giant wingspan of 61m and is covered in almost 12,000 solar cells.
After six long years of planning, talking and hard work, the world has finally had its first look at the 100% solar-powered Solar Impulse HB-SIA
. This remarkable feat of engineering, with the wingspan of a Boeing 747 but only the weight of an average family car, has over 12,000 solar cells powering four electric motors with a maximum power of 10HP. The aircraft prototype is expected to take its first flights before the end of the year.
The lofty ambitions of the Solar Impulse
project are approaching reality with a fully assembled prototype set to be unveiled to the public for the first time on June 26th. Entirely powered by the sun, the aircraft designated HB-SIA has a giant wingspan of 61 meters and is covered in almost 12,000 solar cells.