Swiss solar plane completes flight across Switzerland

Sep 22, 2010
Experimental aircraft "Solar Impulse" takes off with pilot Andre Borschberg onboard from Payerne's Swiss airbase on July 2010. Solar Impulse flew across the country Wednesday, in a new achievement following its historic 24-hour flight.

Switzerland's sun-powered plane Solar Impulse flew across the country Wednesday, in a new achievement following its historic 24-hour flight.

Air traffic was temporarily halted at Zurich international airport as Solar Impulse touched down at the end of its journey at an altitude of 150 to 300 metres (500 to 1,000 feet), and a speed of about 50 kilometres (30 miles) per hour, a spokeswoman said.

"This is a training for the team, for the airport" and air traffic controllers, said Bertrand Piccard, the Swiss adventurer who masterminded the project.

"We wanted to show that we would not pose a major disturbance to the airport's activities," he added.

The plane remained for 45 minutes on the runway at Zurich, before taking off again on its return trip of some 270 kilometres (170 miles) to the military air base of Payerne in the west of the country.

With a wingspan that matches the Airbus A340 airliner, the plane is covered with an array of 12,000 and powered by four small electric motors.

In July it made history by flying around the clock on the sun's energy alone, using 14 hours of sunshine to power its engines and charge its batteries for the night.

It is expected to conduct its first international flights next year, before undertaking a world tour in 2013 or 2014.

Explore further: Imaginative ideas for a 'greenlight district' in Amsterdam

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Solar plane plans first flights across Switzerland

Sep 07, 2010

The team which successfully conducted a round-the-clock flight powered by the sun, Solar Impulse, said Tuesday it is planning three test flights across Switzerland as it ramps up preparations for long-haul ...

Pioneering solar-powered plane makes airborne hop

Dec 03, 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)

Apr 01, 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 ...

Recommended for you

Image: Testing electric propulsion

3 hours ago

On Aug. 19, National Aviation Day, a lot of people are reflecting on how far aviation has come in the last century. Could this be the future – a plane with many electric motors that can hover like a helicopter ...

Where's the real value in Tesla's patent pledge?

4 hours ago

With the much-anticipated arrival next month of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla's Model S to Australian shores, it's a good time to revisit Tesla's pledge to freely share patents. ...

New type of solar concentrator desn't block the view

18 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through ...

Asian inventions dominate energy storage systems

20 hours ago

In recent years, the number of patent applications for electrochemical energy storage technologies has soared. According to a study by the Technical University Munich, the largest volume of applications is ...

User comments : 0