Solar Impulse 2 Plane Makes its First Flight
Solar Impulse 2 Vehicle promises to revolutionize the air travel industry. Its solar powers promise to take travelers more cheaply to their destination.
The place made its inaugural flight from the Pauerne airfield, at Switzerland. It returned home after a two hour flight. The test pilot was Markus Scherdel. The plane reached an altitude of 6,000 feet. From there, Scherdel tested the handlings on the plane.
Scherdel did report feeling a slight vibration when the plane first reached altitudes of 5000 feet. Aside from this insignificant problem, the plane ran smoothly from start to finish.
This plane runs without fuel day and night. It shows incredible potential for clean energy. Its large wings act as solar panels, which absorb the sunlight as it flies about. The plane has an internal lithium battery that keeps in reserve the energy gathered in the day.
Since the plane does not need to carry heavy fuel, it weighs less than a Boeing 747. Jets of its kind have been able fly for 26 hours nonstop. This takes from already existing Solar Powered drone technology which allows for drones to stay in the air for weeks. At its top speed, this plane flies at 90 miles per hour.
Its larger version flew across America last year. It was piloted by Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, as co-pilot.
In 2015, this Solar Impulse plane will travel around the globe. Should it survive the journey, it will prove the safety and reliability of Solar Power planes.
Traveling around the world offers many challenges. Most of the challenges involve the flight over the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Travel over the Pacific Ocean usually takes five days and nights, without rest.
Once again, Picard and Borshlberg will fly this solar powered plane. This time they will travel around the globe. The month when they will depart remains sketchy. It all depends on the atmospheric conditions. They plan to travel around the globe in spring.