Getting Sideways in SI2

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Any pilot who’s had to land an airplane at its crosswind limit knows that each airplane has a point where its controls cannot overcome the sideways force, and one cannot perform the final level, straight-down-the-runway touchdown.  Usually, pilots do a go-around or find a more wind-oriented runway.  Solar Impulse’s explanation under the video tells why this is almost impossible under deteriorating conditions with a craft as huge and slow as SI2. Take note of the control inputs test pilot Marcus Scherdel makes in the final moments of the August 30, 2014 flight. The Solar Impulse team released this video in the last week, perhaps to explain why the crew is waiting for a positive “weather window” before embarking on a planned five-day …

Solar Impulse – the Movie

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Solar Impulse’s first flight was recorded and edited in fine style, which we share here, courtesy of the Solar Impulse project and YouTube. Note the apparent crosswind on landing, and Marcus Scherdel’s masterful handling of it. Note also that both outboard motors are shut down during the landing. A mere zephyr has a large effect on this beautiful, large, extremely slow craft. As the project’s backers note, the airplane has the size of an Airbus, the weight of a compact car, and the power of a scooter.