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Solar Impulse Airplane Returns Home After World’s First Solar-Powered Intercontinental Flight

Posted By Marc Carter On July 24, 2012 @ 5:38 pm In Green Transportation,News,Renewable Energy,Solar Power | No Comments

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Following the completion of the world’s first solar-powered intercontinental flight [1], the Solar Impulse airplane [2] has returned home to Switzerland. After flying for 6,700 miles over four countries and two continents, the solar-powered airplane [3] piloted by Bertrand Piccard just made its final landing in Payerne.

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The trip originally commenced on May 24th with eight stops that included landings in Madrid, Morocco and France. The Solar Impulse HB-SIA plane [4] has 12,000 solar cells on its wings that power the plane’s four 10-horsepower engines. Thanks to the plane’s four batteries, the Solar Impulse [5] plane is capable of flying day and night without fuel.

The Solar Impulse [5] team’s next goal is to create a new solar-powered HB-SIB plane that will be capable of flying around the world using only power harnessed from the sun. According to Solar Impulse [5], the new plane will have a more spacious cockpit that will enable the pilot to recline fully during flights lasting from 4 to 6 days; it will have an increased battery size; its electrical circuitry will be isolated to enable flights in rain; and system redundancy will improve reliability.

Flight testing of the HB-SIB plane [6] is planned for spring 2013, and the round-the-world flight is planned for between April and July 2014.

+ Solar Impulse [5]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/solar-impulse-airplane-returns-home-after-worlds-first-solar-powered-intercontinental-flight/

URLs in this post:

[1] world’s first solar-powered intercontinental flight: http://inhabitat.com/solar-impulse-has-completed-the-worlds-first-solar-powered-intercontinental-flight/

[2] Solar Impulse airplane: http://inhabitat.com/tag/solar-impulse/

[3] solar-powered airplane: http://inhabitat.com/solar-impulse-airplane-to-attempt-worlds-first-solar-powered-intercontinental-flight-today/

[4] Solar Impulse HB-SIA plane: http://inhabitat.com/solar-impulse-airplane-makes-public-debut-at-paris-air-show/

[5] Solar Impulse: http://www.solarimpulse.com

[6] HB-SIB plane: http://www.solarimpulse.com/en/airplane/hb-sib/

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