The first intercontinental flight on solar energy


25/05/2012

Swiss aircraft Solar Impulse, which uses only solar energy, went to an intercontinental flight without a drop of fuel on board, the end point of which is Morocco.

The pilot Andre Borschberg successfully flew the plane from the airport in Payerne in western Switzerland at 8:30 am local time. Destination - Rabat in Morocco, with a stop in Madrid, Spain. Sending delayed by two hours due to the fog that has demonstrated its a weather picky.

"We can not fly in the clouds as the plane is not suited for this," - said Borsherg.

If successful, this 2,500-mile journey will beat the distance record for aircraft in its class, beating on this parameter it last year flight from Paris to Brussels.

This high-tech aircraft wingspan is comparable to the largest passenger aircraft, weighs as much as a small car. On board are 12,000 solar panels, from which energy enters the four electric motors. The organizers said that Borsheg to arrive in Madrid on Friday, after which it is planned to hold a three-day technical break.

After all the tests, in the case of favorable weather conditions, the co-pilot Bertrand Pikkart travel to Rabat on Monday. This flight is a test of strength before the world tour, scheduled for 2014.

This aircraft has already managed to make history in July 2010 as the first controlled airplane that flew all day on a single solar energy.

He holds the record for the duration of the flight on an airplane controlled by solar energy, which is 26 hours, 10 minutes and 19 seconds, as well as the record for altitude - 9235 meters.

In the event of unforeseen circumstances, the tiny cockpit includes a parachute. Borsheg expressed the hope that he will not come in handy, "When you take an umbrella, the rain usually does not happen," - he jokes.

This project was initiated in 2003, and its budget is about $ 100 million over 10 years.

Original: Phys.org


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