Solar Impulse logo.
June 11, 2011
Solar Impulse, a solar airplane pilot, was found Saturday afternoon a favorable weather window to fly out of Brussels to go to Le Bourget, outside Paris, where he will be the guest of honor of the 49th International Aerospace Exhibition and space.
Solar Impulse departure from Brussels
The aircraft took off smoothly at 6:37 p.m. at the airport of Brussels-National, in a sky still partly cloudy, according to pictures posted on the website of the Solar Impulse (http://www.solarimpulse.com), on which the flight can be Live Coverage.
The rain and strong wind had prevented the aircraft designed by the Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist Bertrand Piccard to air as scheduled Saturday morning but the weather cleared in Brussels in the afternoon.
It is only the second international flight in its young history.
Video taken between Neufvilles and Montignies-les-Lens
This giant dragonfly, the size of an Airbus, but the weight of a car, can only fly if the wind blows on the track to less than 7 knots (about 13 km / h, ie).
The aircraft to climb to about 2,500 meters above sea level and will drive south-west. During his first hours of flight, the Solar Impulse can still store a little solar energy before sunset and rely on its batteries recharged in the sun Friday.
As a precaution, his teams have preferred to plan his arrival at Le Bourget as soon as possible to be certain to be there when the show opens, June 20
For the first time, organizers of the high mass of the aircraft have appointed a special guest, not least because this prototype, whose wings are covered with 12,000 solar cells, sits on the tarmac in the middle of the stars Aviation as the new A380 or Boeing 747-8.
The prototype Solar Impulse HB-SIA has a wingspan comparable to that of an Airbus A340
And if the weather allows, the Solar Impulse should fly every day of this show, which opens its doors to the public from June 24 to 26
Nevertheless, for its creators, the Solar Impulse is not intended for commercial application. The goal is for them to demonstrate technology solutions to the challenges of today and reach as many people as possible, "explained Bertrand Piccard, famous for having been around the world hot air balloon and from a family of explorers famous.
If an aircraft is capable of flying day and night without fuel, so nobody can say we can not use this system for cars, heating, air conditioning, etc.., "He pleaded. We must return to a search for solutions (...) and a pioneering spirit, he said, eyes sparkling.
The Solar Impulse landed at Brussels on May 13 after taking off thirteen hours earlier from the military airfield of Payerne Switzerland, completing its first international flight.
The solar powered aircraft Solar Impulse takeoff at Brussels, 11 June 2011
The aircraft with a wingspan of 64 meters weighs only 1.6 tons. He had already entered the history of aviation in ensuring flight first 24 hours without interruption and only propelled by solar panels and batteries in July 2010.
First failure for Solar Impulse has had to turn back in flight
The experimental solar plane Solar Impulse, which was to reach Le Bourget airport near Paris, was the first defeat of his young life Saturday after a series of problems in flight, forcing him to put the cap on Brussels to where he had left three hours earlier.
The aircraft, which took off at 6:37 p.m. at the airport of Brussels-National, had to turn back to 9:39 p.m. (7:39 p.m. GMT) shortly after the French town of Bavay (North), a few kilometers from the Belgian border, has told AFP spokeswoman of Solar Impulse. The announcement came after an article published on the blog of the adventure reporting difficulties in series.
There is no airstrip intermediary such as batteries and power decreased, we preferred to turn not to endanger the life of the pilot, Andre Borschberg, said the spokesman. But the plane will try again next week to reach Le Bourget, as soon as a window weather permits, she said. The Solar Impulse is the guest of honor of the 49th Paris Air Show, scheduled to open June 20. Saturday night, the pilot had to deal with such a big headwind, "she said.
The pilot was unable to return including the landing gear by hand, through 80 revolutions of the crank. Consequently, the landing gear remained extended, which slows the aircraft and increases energy expenditure, the team wrote this revolutionary aircraft.
Andre Borschberg was also forced to fly lower than expected due to cloud cover at 2,500 feet instead of 3500, it said on the blog. At first the landing gear was not damaged but it will be confirmed at the landing of the aircraft, said the spokesman. The rain and strong wind had prevented the aircraft designed by the Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist Bertrand Piccard to the air Saturday morning. But the weather cleared on Brussels in the afternoon.
We knew that the ultimate moment to take off was 18.30. However, we left at 6:36 p.m., just at the limit. We had some turbulence in the first two hours, which cost energy. (...) If we took off an hour earlier, it was not a problem to reach Le Bourget, said his side Raymond Clerc, head of mission at the site.
We have not had a mechanical problem, but the battery status, speed and the wind does not allow us to go to Paris, he added. This is the first failure for this prototype aircraft that entered the history of aviation in July 2010 providing a first flight of 24 hours without interruption and only propelled by solar panels and batteries.
The prototype, whose wings feed four electric motors of an output of 10 hp each, were then flown over Switzerland at an altitude of 150-300 m and a speed of 50 km / h.
The next goal of this project of 100 million Swiss francs (75 million) is to build a second prototype, larger and with better performance. This new device should be from 2013 an overview of the Atlantic, at which seasoned drivers will join the experiment.
Solar Impulse at Duebendorf, Switzerland
The ultimate goal of the team based in Duebendorf, Switzerland, is attempting a world tour in five steps to 2013 or 2014.
Images, Video, Text, Credits: AFP / KEYSTONE / Video: Internet user unidentified / Translation: Orbiter.ch.
Solar Impulse website, visit. http://www.solarimpulse.com