Swiss solar-flight bid to take off for first test flight

April 6, 2010
The aircraft dubbed Solar Impulse takes off with test pilot Markus Scherdel on board in 2009 at Duebendorf airport near Zurich. The Solar Impulse aircraft, a Swiss bid to fly around the world on solar energy, will make its first test flight Wednesday at a military airbase in western Switzerland, organisers said.

The Solar Impulse aircraft, a Swiss bid to fly around the world on solar energy, will make its first test flight Wednesday at a military airbase in western Switzerland, organisers said.

After several delays due to unfavourable weather conditions, the flight by prototype is now scheduled at 9.00 am (0700 GMT) on April 7, said a spokesman from the project co-founded by Swiss pilot and explorer Bertrand Piccard and engineer Andre Borschberg.

Wednesday's flight at Payerne airbase is expected to last around one and a half hours, reaching an altitude of about 1,000 metres (3,280 feet), the organisers added in a statement.

The prototype, which is slightly smaller than the plane that will undertake the round-the-world flight, has a wingspan comparable to that of an Airbus A340 airliner but weighs as little as a family-sized car at only 1,600 kilogrammes (3,527 pounds).

It had briefly taken off for the first time in December for a controlled 400 metre hop about one metre above the runway.

The tests are due to build up to a first non-stop 36 hour flight through darkness, followed by a five-stage flight around the world in 2012.

Explore further: Sun-Powered Aircraft To Support Sustainable Development

More information: Huge solar powered plane takes to the air (w/ Video) - www.physorg.com/news189322240.html

Related Stories

Sun-Powered Aircraft To Support Sustainable Development

July 8, 2005

Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard is constructing a solar-powered plane to fly around the world. His aim is to support sustainable development by demonstrating what renewable energy and new technologies can achieve.

Swiss team unveil pioneering solar plane

June 26, 2009

Round-the-world balloooning pioneer Bertrand Piccard unveiled his solar-powered aircraft in Switzerland on Friday, ready for another trend-setting circumnavigation of the globe powered solely by the sun.

Pioneering Swiss solar-powered plane rolled out

November 6, 2009

Solar Impulse, the Swiss bid to make the first solar-powered flight around the world, rolled out its prototype on Friday at an airbase near Zurich and powered up the engines.

Pioneering solar-powered plane makes airborne hop

December 3, 2009

The prototype of Solar Impulse, a pioneering Swiss bid to fly around the world on solar power, briefly took off for the first time on Thursday but under battery power, the organisers said.

Huge solar powered plane takes to the air (w/ Video)

April 1, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A huge airplane using solar cells as its only power source is being tested in Switzerland. In its first successful test flight last December, the plane flew only 350 meters at a height of just one meter above ...

Recommended for you

Facebook ready to test giant drone for Internet service

July 30, 2015

Facebook says it will begin test flights later this year for a solar-powered drone with a wingspan as big as a Boeing 737, in the next stage of its campaign to deliver Internet connectivity to remote parts of the world.

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.