The Solar Impulse prototype, now in Madrid after visiting Morocco, will head out tomorrow July 17 for either home in Payerne, Switzerland, or if weather is bad, Toulouse. If they go, you can follow the action live from inside the cockpit. Once home the prototype is to rest in its hangar while its bigger brother is constructed for the world flight in 2014. The main spar of that aircraft–that is 28 feet longer than the spar of the prototype now flying–failed a test while the prototype was returning from Morocco, and now the schedule for the world flight is uncertain.
Posts Tagged ‘electric airplane’
The only thing to do is to redesign and rebuild the spar, and whether it still flies in early 2013 is in doubt. It will be a bittersweet homecoming for the HB-SIA when it reaches Switzerland after a successful visit to Morocco, even though it was only designed for night tests.
It climbs to more than 20,000 feet by day, and descends slowly on battery power by night. Here’s wishing better luck to Bertrand Piccard and his quest to demonstrate alternative energy. I’m sending an e-mail to Piccard and Solar Impulse co-founder and CEO André Borschberg, firstname.lastname@example.org, letting them know about this post.
It’s not easy, inventing the future.